A year ago, managing director Bertil le Claire forecast a 21% growth in turnover to $115m (Euros 95m) for 2006, but the Leipzig-based company performed even better, reporting annual profits of Euros 4.9m (+37.6%) on revenues of Euros 106.8m (+35.5%).
Kinowelt's home entertainment division remained the group's cash cow with turnover in this segment bucking the general market trend and climbing by 6% to Euros 56.1m generated from the sale of new films and library titles on DVD. The best-selling title was the blockbuster Mr. & Mrs. Smith (which had been Kinowelt's top theatrical release in 2005 with 3.5m admissions) with 700,000 units sold, followed by the Oscar-winning documentary The March Of The Penguins with 280,000 DVDs.
Kinowelt's theatrical division consolidated its position in the German distribution scene, taking second position behind Constantin Film Verleih among the independent distributors and garnering a 5.5% market share. This was largely thanks to the surprise hit of Sonke Wortmann's World Cup documentary Deutschland. Ein Sommermarchen which generated around 4m of the 7.3m admissions for Kinowelt's releases in 2006. Kinowelt had only picked the film up as distributor at the end of August and committed to release it on October 3, the Day of German Unity.
In addition, Kinowelt's license trading activities have been given a boost since its acquisition and consolidation of Epsilon Motion Pictures which provided Euros 21.8m of the division's total Euros 30.1m turnover last year.