Highlight Communications AG

DGAP-News: Highlight Group increases consolidated net profit for the period by 75% in fiscal year 2014 and exceeds the guidance

DGAP-News: Highlight Communications AG / Key word(s): Final Results
Highlight Group increases consolidated net profit for the period by
75% in fiscal year 2014 and exceeds the guidance

19.03.2015 / 17:44

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Highlight Group increases consolidated net profit for the period by 75% in
fiscal year 2014 and exceeds the guidance


  - Consolidated sales rose by 6.8% to CHF 412.6 million

  - EBIT improved by 56.8% from CHF 18.5 million to CHF 29.0 million,
    consolidated net profit for the period rose by 75.7% from CHF 10.3
    million to CHF 18.1 million

  - Earnings per share increased from CHF 0.21 to CHF 0.37 CHF

  - For 2015, consolidated net profit for the period attributable to
    shareholders of between CHF 14 million and CHF 16 million expected

The business performance of the Highlight Group
in 2014 was very positive overall. The forecast earnings corridor, which
had already been raised to between CHF 12 million and CHF 14 million
(previously: between CHF 9 million and CHF 11 million) in the ad-hoc
disclosure of November 7, 2014, was thus significantly exceeded.

Group development in fiscal year 2014

  - Consolidated sales rose year-on-year by 6.8% to CHF 412.6 million
    (previous year's period: CHF 386.2 million) and were therefore higher
    than the guidance figure of between CHF 380 million and CHF 410
    million.

  - EBIT increased by 56.8% to CHF 29.0 million (previous year's period:
    CHF 18.5 million) and consolidated net profit for the period rose by
    75.7% to CHF 18.1 million (previous year's period: CHF 10.3 million).

  - The same applies to earnings per share, which were up 76.2%
    year-on-year at CHF 0.37 (2013: CHF 0.21) and were also considerably
    higher than the forecast of CHF 0.27 to CHF 0.31.

  - The equity ratio improved by more than five percentage points to 29.6%
    as of the end of 2014 (December 31, 2013: 24.2%).

  - Net debt declined from CHF 107.7 million to CHF 36.5 million, resulting
    in gearing (net debt in relation to equity) decreasing from 100.5% to
    34.1%.

Development of the operating segments in 2014

In the Film segment, the theatrical success of "Fack Ju Göhte" also
carried over to home entertainment exploitation. The movie achieved
outstanding sales and rental figures on both the physical and the
electronic market, which was reflected in considerably higher sales in
comparison to the previous year. In the TV service production business
area, the market situation eased slightly in 2014, allowing the
subsidiaries of Constantin Film AG to implement numerous productions.
The strongest selling title was the Constantin Film own production
"Pompeii", which performed very successfully internationally. High
audience figures on the domestic market were achieved by the comedy
"Männerhort" and the youth adventure "The Famous Five 3" attracting
just under 1.2 million moviegoers each. In addition, "Fack Ju Göhte"
again pulled in more than 1.7 million moviegoers in 2014.
As a result of these developments, the Film segment generated external
sales of CHF 359.1 million in the year under review, thus exceeding the
previous year's figure (CHF 333.6 million) by 7.6%. Segment expenses fell
by 7.3% to CHF 403.4 million (previous year's period: CHF 435.2 million),
with the result that segment earnings improved by 63.9% to CHF 13.6 million
(previous year's period: CHF 8.3 million).


In the Sports- and Event-Marketing segment, activities of the marketing
company TEAM centered on the marketing process for the commercial
rights of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League (for the
2015/16 to 2017/18 seasons respectively). In a difficult market
environment, significant progress was made and numerous TV contracts
for both competitions were concluded worldwide. Negotiations on
sponsorship rights were also successfully advanced.
The segment's external sales were therefore up slightly year-on-year at CHF
49.9 million (previous year's period: CHF 48.9 million). Segment expenses
also remained at the previous year's level at CHF 29.5 million (previous
year's period: CHF 29.4 million), while other income climbed by CHF 1.6
million to CHF 2.0 million (previous year's period: CHF 0.4 million).
Consequently, segment earnings also increased by 12.6% from CHF 19.9
million to CHF 22.4 million.

In the Other Business Activities segment, Highlight Event AG
successfully implemented the major annual events Eurovision Song
Contest, the New Year's Day Concert and the Summer Night Concert of the
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The same applies to the "Eurovision
Young Musicians" project, which was managed for the first time and in
which the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was involved in the activities
for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
External sales in the Other Business Activities segment were down slightly
year-on-year at CHF 3.5 million (CHF 3.7 million). By contrast, segment
expenses were reduced considerably by CHF 3.7 million to CHF 6.0 million.
The segment loss that resulted - as in the previous year - from
online/social gaming therefore decreased by 60.4% from CHF 4.8 million to
CHF 1.9 million.

Targets for fiscal year 2015

For the current fiscal year, the Highlight Group is expecting consolidated
sales of CHF 310 million to CHF 330 million and a consolidated net profit
for the period attributable to shareholders of CHF 14 million to CHF 16
million. The sales forecast is lower than in the previous year. This is the
result of a cautious estimate of the EUR/CHF exchange rate as well as the
fact that no international in-house productions in the Film segment are
planned in 2015. Key items in the movie slate for the current year are the
promising Constantin Film own-/co-productions "The Fantastic Four",
"Ostwind 2" and "Fack Ju Göhte 2".

As in the previous years, the Board of Directors of Highlight
Communications AG will propose the distribution of a dividend of CHF 0.17
per entitled share for fiscal year 2014 at the Annual General Meeting.

The ordinary Annual General Meeting for fiscal year 2014 will take place at
the Hotel Courtyard by Marriott in Pratteln on June 12, 2015.

The German annual report for 2014 will be available for download at
www.highlight-communications.ch starting from today, and the English
version from March 27, 2015.



Highlight Group at a glance
Group figures according to IFRS

in CHF million                                 2014         2013  Change in
                                                                          %
Sales                                         412.6        386.2        6.8
EBIT                                           29.0         18.5       56.8
Net profit for the period                      18.1         10.3       75.7
Net profit attributable to shareholders        16.7          9.7       72.2
Earnings per share (CHF)                       0.37         0.21       76.2
Segment sales
Film                                          359.1        333.6        7.6
Sports- and Event-Marketing                    49.9         48.9        2.0
Other Business Activities                       3.5          3.7       -5.4
Segment result
Film                                           13.6          8.3       63.9
Sports- and Event-Marketing                    22.4         19.9       12.6
Other Business Activities                      -1.9         -4.8       60.4

in CHF million                             Dec. 31,     Dec. 31,  Change in
                                               2014         2013          %
Balance sheet total                           361.6        443.3      -18.4
Equity                                        106.9        107.2       -0.3
Equity ratio (%)                               29.6         24.2  5.4
points
Current financial liabilities                  81.3        152.0      -46.5
Cash and cash equivalents                      44.8         44.3        1.1







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19.03.2015 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a
service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Language:    English
Company:     Highlight Communications AG
             Netzibodenstrasse 23b
             4133 Pratteln
             Switzerland
Phone:       +41 61 816 96 96
Fax:         +41 61 816 67 67
E-mail:   ir@hlcom.ch
Internet: www.hlcom.ch
ISIN:        CH0006539198
WKN:         920299
Listed:      Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated
             Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover,
             Munich, Stuttgart


End of News    DGAP News-Service
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335253 19.03.2015
 



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