VCL improves performance

New business helps cut losses

BERLIN — Home entertainment distrib VCL Film + Medien has reported a rise in business following its takeover last year of private equity film fund Equity Pictures Medienfonds and the launch of a new fund management division.

VCL on Thursday posted a 6% drop in half-year revenue to E5.3 million ($8.3 million), while dramatically narrowing its pre-tax loss by $1.2 million to $634,000.

Company attributed the improvement to its new film rights management business.

Tax-sheltering investments in film funds are now banned in Germany but fund companies still manage rights to library titles. VCL’s new media fund administration business saw first-half sales of $4 million, stemming from the management of 29 Equity-produced films, including Brian De Palma’s “The Black Dahlia,” Bruce Willis starrers “Hostage” and “16 Blocks,” and Eric Valette’s “One Missed Call.”

Earlier this year, VCL also inked a deal with fellow fund Cinerenta to exploit 38 films, including titles such as Steven Strait starrer “Undiscovered,” “The Devil’s Rejects” and “The Final Cut,” with Robin Williams.

VCL is expecting revenue from its fund management business to reach $8.3 million this year.

Company’s home entertainment division reported half-year revenue of $4.3 million, driven mainly by DVD sales.

Among VCL’s first Blu-ray DVDs were “Copland,” John Carpenter’s Vampires,” “Jeepers Creepers” and “Hostage.”

Company said a forecast for the entire year remained difficult but added that it was on a good path and that it expected its new funds administration division to contribute positively to overall business development.

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