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Canal Plus’ revs up 20% for 1st half

Tobis consolidation, new distrib growth and strong catalog to thank

PARIS — French pay TV group Canal Plus on Monday posted consolidated revenue of $1.69 billion for the first half of 2000, up 20.1% on the same period last year.

Subscription revenue rose 13.7%, while income from advertising and sponsorship climbed 45%.

Overall, other revenues were up 52.1% as StudioCanal itself posted first half 2000 revenues of $130 million, up 11.2% on last year, including a 67% leap in revenues from cinema activities.

Consolidated figures for Canal Plus did not include revenues from theme channels and foreign subsidiaries in Spain, Poland and French-speaking Belgium.

By geography

In a geographical breakdown of the Canal Plus group’s TV interests, revenues from the parent French TV company stood at $706 million, compared with $677 million for the same period last year; revenues from CanalSatellite were $248 million, up 18.6%; and revs from cable operator NC Numericable were up 7.4% to $60 million.

In Italy, revenues from Telepiu stood at $288 million, up 25% on the same period last year, while revs from Canal Plus’ Benelux and Nordic activities stood at $119 million. Revenues from Canal Plus Horizons were $12 million.

As for Studio Canal, the fledgling Euro major recorded two big changes in its revenue picture: a 67% drop in its TV biz and an almost equivalent hike in film. The former figure was due to the merger earlier this year of Canal Plus’ TV production arm Ellipse with Expand Images.

On the film side, StudioCanal attributed its sharp sales growth to three factors: the consolidation of its German subsid Tobis, the strong performance of its 5,000-plus film catalog and a 95% growth in new film distribution.

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