Good start for ER

Turnover up significantly, as UK operation sees revenue increase of 35 per cent.
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Entertainment Rights says it is on track to meet its expectations for the full year following a substantial growth in turnover for the six months ending June 30th 2007.

The firm saw revenue growth of 35 per cent for its UK operations. This, coupled with the impact of the acquisition of Classic Media resulted in an increase in revenue of 196 per cent to £17.3 million.

The percentage of revenue from owned programming increased from 48 per cent to 88 per cent compared with the first half of 2006. This increased the group's gross profit margin to 40 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for the same period in 2006.

"ER is pleased to report a strong set of results for the six months ended June 30th 2007," stated Rod Bransgrove, chairman of ER. "As a result of the acquisition [of Classic Media Holdings], ER increased its portfolio of high quality programming to 3,500 hours and offers a digitised library of globally recognised brands with significant revenue generating opportunities.

"Major broadcasters in the UK and US have commissioned ER's leading wholly-owned brands and we remain well positioned to enhance and strengthen our presence in the US. ER has also commenced the licensing of Classic Media's high quality content into non-US markets.

"Traditionally the company's financial performance has been weighted to the second half of the year. Like many other UK companies trading in the US, the strength of sterling against the US dollar has impacted the first half despite the operational strength of the company. The board remains confident that ER is on course to deliver on its expectations for the full year."

Key properties so far this year for ER in the UK have been Postman Pat (with a new show, Special Delivery Service, having recently been commissioned), Rupert Bear Follow the Magic, Basil Brush, Finley the Fire Engine, George of the Jungle and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

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