MGM Home Entertainment takes control of Australian operations

CALIFORNIA: Marking a critical advancement in its worldwide expansion, MGM Home Entertainment Group, is assuming control of operations in Australia, one of the fastest growing DVD markets in the world. It is establishing a full-scale sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure in the territory.

In India, MGM has a JV with Subhash Chandra's Zee for the television channel Zee MGM. The company's executive VP worldwide sales Robert Wittenberg was quoted as saying: "Hands down, Australia has become one of the most vital markets in the industry. Australian consumers -- long proven as early adopters in the consumer electronics business -- are expected to spend over $1 billion on video in 2003 alone, with most of the growth forecasted to come from retail DVD -- a gain of more than 32 per cent. With our operations now in place, MGM is in an excellent position to capitalise on the territory's tremendous growth potential."

As part of the move, the company has promoted MGM executive Don Hunton to head the operations, serving as MD - Australia. The Sydney based Hunton will oversee both the company's new offices in Sydney and Melbourne. He will report directly to Wittenberg.

Wittenberg added: "Don brings a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience to MGM's Australian launch, having deftly built and managed MGM's rental and retail sales and marketing infrastructure in the UK. We look forward to building a strong foundation within the territory. We will aggressively work to provide the Australian customer base with the same outstanding service that we have consistently delivered to our rental and retail partners across North America and Europe."

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