MGM Home Entertainment hastaken another step in its worldwide expansion plans by assuming control ofoperations in Australia.

MGM executive Don Huntonwill head up a full-scale sales, marketing and distribution apparatus that isbeing planned for the territory, one of the fastest growing DVD markets in theworld.

As managing director,Australia, Hunter will oversee new offices in Sydney - where he will be based -and Melbourne.

He will report directly toRobert Wittenberg, executive vice president of worldwide sales.

"Don brings a wealth ofvaluable knowledge and experience to MGM's Australian launch, having deftlybuilt and managed MGM's rental and retail sales and marketing infrastructure inthe UK," Wittenberg said in a statement.

"Hands down, Australia hasbecome one of the most vital markets in the industry.

"Australian consumers - longproven as early adopters in the consumer electronics business - are expected tospend over $1bn on video in 2003 alone, with most of the growth forecasted tocome from retail DVD, a gain of more than 32%."

Hunton joined the company in1999 and oversaw the establishment of the UK and Ireland operations. He mostrecently served as general manager of UK and Ireland.

Prior to MGM he spent sixyears at Buena Vista Home Video, rising to the position of retail trading director.

Earlier this year thecompany reclaimed full control of its distribution operations in the UK,France and Germany, after exercising a contractual option in itsinternational distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (ScreenDaily,May 28 2003).