Endemol announces good results in US, UK & Italy for Q1

MUMBAI: Television format creator Endemol has announced a sound performance in the first quarter of 2006.

Compared to the first quarter of 2005, Endemol says that it enjoyed a strong increase in business across all genres and most of its markets, especially the US, the UK and Italy. The overall financial outlook for 2006 remains good. Given the lumpy nature of Endemol’s business (project-based), performance in the first quarter cannot be automatically extrapolated to the rest of the year.

Endemol will publish its half year results on 26 July 2006, with more detailed financial information. Endemol says that its top format in terms of turnover, Big Brother, remains strong. The format was on air in more countries than in the same period of last year, returning to screens in Italy and Belgium after an absence in 2005. The success Endemol has enjoyed worldwide with Deal or no Deal during the first quarter, in particular in the UK and the USA, has resulted in an increasing appetite for game shows (a core element of Endemol’s portfolio), which Endemol is capitalising on.

In the US, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition continues to do well. After being successfully introduced in the US market in December 2005, Deal or No Deal again had promising ratings for the second series, which aired on NBC in March. Specific examples of the resurgence of game shows can be seen in the US where newly created formats Show Me The Money and For The Rest of Your Life were sold to Fox and ABC respectively and the rejuvenated version of Endemol’s existing format One versus 100 was sold to NBC - all in the same week.

In the scripted field, Endemol enjoyed a sound performance with several continuing and new soap operas and drama series in its main scripted territories including the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, but also with drama productions in countries such as South Africa and Russia. In April, Endemol increased its stake in the Dutch production company NL Film & TV to 51 per cent, which focuses exclusively on television drama, comedy and feature films.

In line with the company’s continuing search for expansion in New Territories, the first Asian subsidiary, Endemol India, opened for business at the beginning of the year and enjoyed a successful start in the first three months. In addition, Endemol Polska officially kicked off in Poland as a fully independent production company headed by a newly appointed MD.

In the digital media field, next to Participation TV, the success of formats like Deal or no Deal and Big Brother is generating substantial revenues on calls and SMSs. Furthermore, Endemol is exploring new sustainable revenue streams through cooperation with companies such as KPN in the Netherlands and BT in the UK, further exploiting Endemol’s library and developing new specific content for their IPTV concepts. This particular broadband and mobile opportunity for exploitation of content is still in its early days and revenues are currently embryonic.

Endemol CEO Joaquim Agut says, “In the first quarter we have continued to perform strongly across the group. We saw earlier initiated strategic actions taking effect. In addition, several new steps towards the further development and implementation of our strategic priorities were made. We are confident that we will realise the targets given in our financial guidance as provided earlier this year.”

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