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Profit not so Majestic

Co.'s revs rise; operations, poor pic perfs bring loss

PARIS — French distrib Bac Majestic lost 13 million euros ($11.7 million) in 2001 and racked up only $29 million in the first trimester, forcing the company to issue a profit warning May 13. And execs cautioned “the company expects to address the issue of refinancing in the next few weeks.”

While the company’s revenues rose nearly 20% in 2001 to 85 million — of which $78 million stemmed from distribution — it posted an operating loss of $5.6 million compared to profits of $1 million at the end of 2000.

Bac was forced to set aside $2.7 million after it lost permission to build and operate a multiplex in Nimes.

The poor performance of “Ali,” “Le Frere du Guerrier” and “Once We Were Soldiers” in 2002, forced Bac to put up a provision of $3 million in its 2001 results.

Distribution in France has become increasingly more competitive, shutting out many of the smaller distribs. Despite that, Bac has always has always been one of the more successful distribs in the industry and the operating loss is a blow for the company. Shares of Bac Majestic fell 3.61% on Tuesday on the news of its weakened financial health.

The market for TV distribution has also become more and more competitive, which had a hand in the depressed numbers. Bac counted a goodwill charge of $3.4 million reflecting a change in value of its catalogue, based on a fall of “short-term demand from television stations.”