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Business

Bavaria Film Continues Expansion

Germany's leading film studio is confident it can maintain the growth pace of the past years and plans expansion both at home and elsewhere in Europe.

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Bavaria Film: getting bigger going local

Bavaria Film GmbH, Germany's leading film studio, is confident it can maintain the growth pace of the past years and plans expansion both at home and elsewhere in Europe.

Chief executive Dieter Frank said that the group is set to book sales of more than DM500 million in 2001, a near threefold increase since Frank and co-chief executive Thilo Kleine took over at the helm of the group seven years ago.

The group traditionally does not report earnings figures, but Frank said pretax return on sales stands at 3%. Together with Drefa, one of the biggest TV-production service providers in Germany, Bavaria Film is currently in talks on investing in several domestic film production companies.

"These are set to provide another considerable boost to sales," Frank said. The talks are expected to be completed by the middle of next year. In Europe, Bavaria Film is setting up a number of representations, aimed at developing and marketing films with local producers.

Moreover, the group has set up its own production firm and service provider in Austria. Overall, the group's expansion moves are to double sales to DM 1 billion over the next seven years, Frank said.

Still, Bavaria Film has not been immune to the recent slump in TV advertising.

"Many commercial TV stations are placing their production orders within their own organizations," Frank said. Many smaller, financially weaker film production companies were thus facing "a difficult future", he added. In the case of Bavaria, profit in 2002 would rise "just slightly", Frank forecast.

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