The Swedish branch of pan-Scandinavian distributor Sandrew Metronome will dismantle its local production department, ending more than 80 years of Swedish film history.

Ironically the decision coincides with the Swedish premiere of the company's latest - and last - feature, Leif Lindblom's Sun Storm (Solstorm), which went straight to number two at the box office.

'The board does not find it sufficiently profitable to make films,' said head of production Lena Rehnberg to the Swedish Film Institute's Film News, adding that since busy with the Sun Storm launch, she had no more comments.

Founded by Anders Sandrew in the 1920s, Stockholm-based Sandrews produced more than 200 features, including classics by Alf Sjoberg, Ingmar Bergman and Vilgot Sjoman, also co-producing international filmswith the likes of Jean-Luc Godard.

Today handled by Swedish international sales agent, NonStop Sales, the old catalogue boasts such titles as Sjöberg's Miss Julie (Fröken Julie), Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton) and Sjöman's I Am Curious Yellow/Blue (Jag är nyfiken gul/blå).

In 1996 Sandrews merged with Denmark's Metronome, which was later purchased by Norwegian media concern, Schibsted. The new operation comprised all-Scandinavian distribution, production and cinema circuits in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

Later defining its core business as distribution, Sandrew Metronome reduced its production activities and gradually sold its theatres - in Denmark to Nordisk, in Finland to Finnkino and in Sweden to the newly-established Astoria Cinemas, which went bust.

Produced by Rehnberg, and starring Izabella Scorupco, Mikael Persbrandt, Suzanne Reuter and Krister Henriksson, Sun Storm is the story of a Stockholm lawyer revisiting her past in northern Sweden where a Free Church minister hans been murdered.

This year Sandrew Metronome Sweden has backed Martina Bigert's All about My Bush (Allt om min buske), also produced by Rehnberg, whose credits include Ulf Malmros' God Save the King (Tjenare Kungen). The company co-produced Mani Maserrat Agah's Ciao Bella.