Bac Majestic has seen its 2001 first-half revenues jump 21.2% to Euros 39.7m. This is good news for the French distributor and exhibitor which was floated on the French equivalent to the Nasdaq a year ago and has seen its shares dip 80% since then.

Distribution and sales, which represent 85% of Bac's revenues, grew by 15% in the first half of 2001 (to Euros33,6 m), mostly due to television sales, which swelled four-fold (from Euros 1,7m to Euros 7,4m). Revenues from exhibition jumped 60% (to Euros 4.5m) in the wake of the opening of two new multiplexes.

In the second half, Bac's theatrical distribution operation (Bac Distribution, which had a 10% share of the French market in 2000, ranking sixth) is expected to benefit from the releases of titles such as Scary Movie 2, Chaos, 'Mulholland Drive' and French comedy Absolument Fabuleux. International sales activities, which have dipped 97.2% in the first half, should improve from the sales of Nanni Moretti's 2001 Cannes Golden Palm-winner The Son's Room, which Bac co-produced.

Bac has announced that it intends to increase its involvement in film co-production in order to build up its catalogue of film rights. The company is also intent on expanding its theatre circuit. The two-pronged development strategy will weigh down Bac's sales in 2001 -- revenues expectations have been downsized to Euros 100m in 2001, compared an announced Euros 110.2m at the time of floating in July 2000 - but the stock market is reacting favorably and Bac shares have jumped by some 20% in the wake of the report.