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Financial briefs

EM.TV & Merchandising has become the first German media company to be included on Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx.

The company is being listed on three Dow Jones indexes (STOXX, EURO STOXX and STOXX ex UK) on Sept. 20.

The Dow Jones Stoxx includes 590 companies from 16 European nations. The Euro Stoxx includes 296 companies from the 10 Eurozone countries that have adopted the Euro currency while the Dow Jones STOXX ex UK excludes UK firms. EM.TV will also be listed in the media sector of the STOXX broad index.

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News Corp.-managed Australian feevee operator Foxtel posted a fiscal 1999 operating loss of A$39 million ($25 million), down sharply from $53 million the year before.

The results emerged last week in the accounts of telco Telstra, a 50% Foxtel stakeholder, which reported Oz’s biggest ever profit of $2.2 billion.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s TVNZ has won $162 million worth of contracts from NTL Australia for the operation and maintenance of Oz’s National Transmission Network.

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A 15% slump in cinema audiences contributed to a 23% drop in earnings for South African media group Primedia, according to the group’s annual results released last week.

Primedia chief executive officer William Kirsh said the largest of the group’s operating divisions, the Ster-Kinekor cinema and video units, had been affected by the downturn in the South African economy sparked by the Asian market crisis in the second half of last year. This had resulted in a 15% decline in cinema attendance and a 27% drop in operating profit. Earnings per unit were down to 15¢ from 20¢.

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