splendid medien AG

ots Ad hoc-Service: splendid medien AG Splendid Medien AG - Figures for First Quarter 2000

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    Cologne (ots Ad hoc-Service) -     Sales up 22 per cent /EBIT growth of 40 per cent / Profit from ordinary business activities increased by 165 per cent

    Splendid Medien AG, Cologne, recorded total sales of 13.1 million marks in the first quarter of the business year 2000. The company surpassed comparable 1999 figures (10.8 million marks) by 22 per cent. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 39 per cent to 9.9 (7.1) million marks. The operating result (EBIT) increased by 40 per cent from 1.1 million marks to 1.5 million marks.

    Profit from ordinary activities improved by 165 per cent to 2.9 (1.1) million marks. The contribution made by subsidiary company Initial Entertainment Group, Inc., Santa Monica (IEG), amounted to 0.4 million marks after tax. Until a new share issue is made in the course of the business year 2000, IEG will be consolidated with 49 per cent at equity. The DVFA figure after tax improved by 214 per cent to 1.9 (0.6) million marks.

    The strongest income generator with 66 per cent of sales was the film licensing division, which put on 24 per cent to 8.8 (7.1) million marks. The Video/DVD division - the company's second strongest with 29 per cent of sales - improved in the first three months of the current business year by 13 per cent to 3.8 (3.4) million marks. Sales growth of 183 per cent in sell-through cassettes/DVD made a major contribution to the positive result in the Video/DVD division. Equally gratifying growth of 74 per cent to 0.7 (0.4) million marks was recorded by the dubbing division, which now contributes five per cent of Splendid's sales.

    "The latest quarterly figures prove that we are on course to convert our ambitious targets into reality," comments Dietmar Schmitz, CFO of Splendid Medien AG. "For the first three months of the current business year, we have already exceeded our expectations. We are assuming that the second half of the calendar year will be marked by even greater sales dynamism." The disproportionate profit growth results primarily from cost decrease effects and from the company's profitable film library.

    Splendid is expecting greater profitability to continue for the rest of this year. Having invested the record amount of 93.1 million marks in world rights to top-ranking Hollywood films with star-studded casts in the 1999 business year, the company has continued to expand its film library in the first quarter of 2000 and has invested a further 10.0 million marks in it. New investment was underpinned by extensive pre-sales at the current Cannes film festival. "Gangs of New York" is the largest independent film project of all time, produced by Splendid/IEG jointly with the Walt Disney subsidiary Miramax; it has already covered 95 per cent of its budget, three months before filming is due to begin, from contracts with international film license traders. International rights to the thriller "Traffic", a co-production between Splendid/IEG and USA Films, brought the Company pre-sales of a full 75 per cent of the sum invested.

    The film library of around 400 titles is a high potential earner, both for TV and DVD. As films are generally fully amortised after their first run, their second run on TV or DVD is a highly profitable business.

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