Six months after Prague Studios unveiled refurbished stages and began taking on US productions, the Czech-based firm has announced further plans to extend the facility.

Studio executives say construction will begin at the end of this year on four new 2000-meter stages at the Prague Studios complex, to be completed in September 2003.

"We are continuing to invest in Prague Studios," says Tomas Krejci, a co-owner of the studios, adding that details of the plans are not yet final. "We are working toward this," he said.

Additional stage space is seen by local industry players as vital for the health of the Czech film industry, which has been swamped in recent years by runaway Hollywood production.

Krejci added that plans to build out the studio may be affected by the ongoing sale of Barrandov Studios, Prague Studio's cross-town rival, which has been on the block for four years by its owner, Moravia Steel.

Prague Studios recently saw the wrap of Sony/Revolution's XXX and is currently hosting Children Of Dune, a six-hour sequel to the Sci-Fi Channel's Dune miniseries.