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Brit film, TV sales outfit back in black

LONDON — ContentFilm Intl., the U.K.-based TV and film sales outfit, was back in the black for the financial year ended March 31, reporting net profits of £190,000 ($332,000), recovering from losses of £5.9 million ($10.3 million) the previous year.

Following good sales for “Thank You for Smoking,” “The Business” and “Transamerica,” revenues are expected to be up 72% to $18.4 million. Debt has been cut from $52.56 million to $26.2 million.

“It’s been a year of reconstruction and stabilization,” said ContentFilm financial topper Geoff Webb. “The company has clearly turned the corner and expects improved financial results over the coming years.”

Webb said ContentFilm’s change in fortunes stem from the company’s decision to cease inhouse production and theatrical distribution in order to focus on sales and the exploitation of its rights library.

For the year to come, Webb predicted a $1.75 million net profit.

Company, which merged with Winchester in 2004 and acquired the Fireworks TV library last July, has 2,000 hours of TV and more than 100 feature films in its library. The majority of its revenue comes from the U.S. (56%); 38% is derived from Europe, but 17% of that is from the U.K.

The film library has been valued at $40 million.

Two high-profile titles are in the pipeline. Richard Attenborough has recently started lensing Shirley MacLaine starrer “Closing the Ring,” which ContentFilm helped to finance. Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” another ContentFilm title, is skedded to bow in the next few months.

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