First half-year net profit of $15.5m (€12m) is highest company has recorded in a full fiscal year since flotation in 2007.

French mini-major EuropaCorp is celebrating its highest net profit in five years thanks to the global success of Liam Neeson-starrer Taken 2.

The company announced on Wednesday evening (Nov 28) that it had made a $15.5m (€12m) net profit for the six months running to September 30, 2012, against a $16.3 (€12.6) loss during the same period in the previous year.  

After two years in the red, EuropaCorp balanced its books last June, posting a small net profit of $130,000 (€100,000) for the 2011/12 financial year, against a net loss of$39m (€30.2m) for the 2010/2011 period.

The latest positive figures for the first half of 2012/13, said EuropaCorp, had been primarily driven by the performance of Taken 2 as well as royalties received in North America for Colombiana and Taken.

Released in some 45 territories since its launch at the beginning of October, Taken 2’s global box office is in excess of $350m, making it the most successful French production at the international box office in history.

 “This trend confirms the relevance of the studio’s strategic decision to invest in English-language films with strong international potential,” read the statement.

Comsolidated revenue up 16%

The financial statement also revealed a 16% rise in consolidated revenue to $106m (€82.1m) against $91.4m (€70.6m) in the same period of the 2011/12 financial year.

International sales rose by 20% year-on-year to $60.6m (€46.8m), representing 57% of total revenue.

The company said video and VoD revenue had risen to $6.9m (€5.3m) against $6.2m (€4.8m) the previous year, with VoD accounting for 21% of this income. Recent releases comprised Lock Out, The Lady and Love Lasts Three Years (L’amour dure trois ans).

Broadcast revenue stood at $24.6m (€19m) against $16.8m (€13m) in the same period in the previous year.

Within this figure, the delivery of Jan Kounen’s Flight of the Storks mini-series to Canal+ had helped boost revenue from TV series to $7.2m (€5.6m) from $4.4m (€3.4m).

EuropaCorp noted that the rise in consolidated revenue was achieved in spite of a decline in cinema revenue in France, to $2.3m (€1.8m) for the period, from $5.3m (€4.1m) in the previous year, mainly due to fewer releases

Looking to future

The company revealed film investments of $56.9m (€43.9m) in the first half of the year, compared to $14.1 (€10.9) in the first half of 2011/12.

“This more sustained level of investment will give the Group the benefit of a production line-up that is both rich and diversified,” read the statement.

Cash flows during the half-year rose to $73.5m (€56.8m) compared to $39.6m (€30.6m) in the previous year, a direct result of the “inflows recorded over the half-year following the international deliveries of Taken 2”.

The company said the theatrical line-up for the second-half of the 2011/12 year included the Gérard Depardieu starrer The Man Who Laughs, Miguel Courtois’ Operación E, Philippe Lellouche’s The Journey, David Marconi’s Intersections and David Moreau’s It Boy.

Luc Besson’s mafia comedy Malavita and the boules-themed comedy World Petank Tour, were both in post-production, and would be released in 2013/14.

The Kevin Costner starrer Three Days to Kill will start shooting on December 5, 2012.

EuropaCorp’s TV series pipeline is also set to start flowing in the second half of the 2012/13 financial year, with the delivery of six episodes of No Limit, season two of XIII and the feature-length drama Code Name Rose.

TV projects in development include Taxi-spin-off Brooklyn South, No Limit Season 2, The Lost Patrol and The Passenger as well as Life after life, the first English-language series based on an original idea by Besson.