Dutch production giant Endemol Entertainment has reported an impressive 36.4% rise in profit, before extraordinary gains and losses, to $20.9m (NLG48.3m) in the first half of the 1999-2000 financial year, compared to $15.3m (NLG35.4m) in the corresponding period in 1998-1999.

The company 's operating result also increased substantially by 42% to $29m (NLG67.2m) from $20.4m (NLG47.2m) the previous year. Turnover during the period rose 13% to $225.6m (NLG521.8m).

Endemol, which is being taken over by Spanish giant Telefonica, said all divisions - including production, distribution and Endemol.com - improved performance. However the deconsolidation of German distributor Helkon Media had a negative impact on turnover growth. Helkon floated on the Neue Markt in Frankfurt in October 1999, at which time Endemol reduced its stake from 51% to 25%.