IM Internationalmedia's business activities developed largely as predicted in the first half of 2002, posting a 33% year-on-year increase in revenues to Euros 94.3m, from Euros 70.8m (pro forma) - while EBITDA plummeted from Euros 17.8m in the first half of 2001 to minus Euros 13.4m for this year.
The increase in revenues was largely to the release of Ali, Iris and The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys - all pure minimum guarantee films - which constituted 83% of the revenues, while 17% was accounted for by overages on such films as Traffic and The Wedding Planner.
According to an ad-hoc communique, the company's gross profit margin decreased significantly - as anticipated - to Euros 14.3m as the financing fees of the first half of 2001 and the extraordinary effect of The Wedding Planner did not reoccur in the first six months of 2002.
Meanwhile, increased investment in project development costs by Euros 4.5m - with around 70 projects currently in IM's development pipeline - and higher overhead costs through the consolidation of IEG impacted the negative operating result before goodwill amortization (EBITA) of Euro -13.4m (2001 pro forma: Euro 17.8m).
Speaking in a telephone conference to analysts, deputy chairman Caspar von Blomberg (pictured) declared that IM "is in line on the development spend and cash position and we are performing particularly well regards liabilities in the balance sheet".
Commenting on the US box office of the Russian submarine thriller K-19 - The Widowmaker, von Blomberg admitted that the film "is not performing as we would like it to do. But we believe that the film will be more successful in Europe than in the US. Due to the film's subject matter it was not a film for the summer season moviegoers in the US".
According to von Blomberg, IM's target for K-19's US box office total is around $40m - it had taken $30m by last Sunday - and the company is "quite confident that we won't lose money; we expect to break even or make a slight profit".
Five cinema releases are being lined up for the second half of 2002 ranging from The Quiet American, starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser, through Martin Scorsese's long awaited epic Gangs Of New York to the Kevin Spacey/Kate Winslet vehicle The Life Of David Gale. Von Blomberg indicated that it was "most likely" that the Kurt Russell-starrer Dark Blue would be put back to January 2003 and Adaptation take its place in November.