Highlight Communications AG

DGAP-News: Highlight Group closes fiscal year 2015 with very positive results


DGAP-News: Highlight Communications AG / Key word(s): Final Results
Highlight Group closes fiscal year 2015 with very positive results

15.03.2016 / 18:08
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Highlight Group closes fiscal year 2015 with very positive resultsConsolidated
sales of CHF 346.1 million above expectationsEBIT increased by CHF 2.1 million
to CHF 31.1 millionConsolidated net profit attributable to shareholders of CHF
17.5 million, corresponding to earnings per share of CHF 0.39, at the upper end
of earnings forecast
The Highlight Group's business performance in fiscal year 2015 was very positive
on the whole, although the sales situation and results of operations were
dominated by the appreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro by
approximately 12%.

Group development in fiscal year 2015
Consolidated sales of CHF 346.1 million (previous year: CHF 412.6 million)
exceeded the guidance.EBIT improved by 7.2% to CHF 31.1 million (previous year:
CHF 29.0 million).The consolidated net profit for the period attributable to
shareholders increased by 4.8% to CHF 17.5 million (previous year: CHF 16.7
million) and was thus at the upper end of profit expectations.The same applies
to earnings per share, which increased from CHF 0.37 to CHF 0.39; earnings per
share on a euro basis improved by 19.4% to EUR 0.37 (previous year: EUR 0.31).
Development of the operating segments in 2015
TheFilm segmentachieved excellent results in the past year. The Constantin Film
Group's distribution slate featured ten titles in the year under review - half
of them each drew an audience of more than a million viewers in German theaters.
This performance was crowned by "Fack Ju Göhte 2", which sold 7.65 million
tickets and became the most seen film of the year. The TV service production
business area was expanded further at a national and international level. The
series "Shadowhunters" was the first major production to be realized for a US
broadcaster. The global SVoD (subscription video-on-demand) rights for this
production (outside the US) were sold to the streaming platform Netflix.
External sales in the Film segment were down year-on-year at CHF 290.9 million
(CHF 359.1 million) as no international in-house production was released in
theaters in the year under review and therefore there was no income from minimum
guarantees from global distribution. As a result of the excellent results of
German productions, segment earnings improved significantly by 26.5% to CHF 17.2
million (previous year: CHF 13.6 million).
In theSports- and Event-Marketing segment, the TEAM Group successfully handled
the marketing process for the commercial rights for the 2015/16 to 2017/18
seasons of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. The performance
targets agreed with UEFA were achieved in good time, meaning that TEAM could
conclude a new agency agreement with UEFA. The new agreement covers the
marketing of the rights for the 2015/16 to 2020/21 seasons. If the TEAM Group
performs appropriately in this period, the agreement will be automatically
extended to the 2021/22 to 2023/24 seasons.
The segment's external sales of CHF 51.7 million were slightly higher than in
the previous year (CHF 49.9 million). Driven by additional project expenses and
higher segment charges, segment expenses rose from CHF 29.5 million to CHF 33.1
million, which meant that segment earnings decreased from CHF 22.4 million to
CHF 21.0 million.
 In theOther Business Activities segment, the activities of Highlight Event AG
in 2015 were mainly focused on the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, as some of the
TV and sponsorship contracts were up for renewal. In this context, the important
framework agreement with the European Broadcasting Union was extended. External
sales in the Other Business Activities segment were virtually unchanged
year-on-year at CHF 3.4 million (CHF 3.5 million). The segment loss was reduced
from CHF 1.9 million to CHF 1.4 million.
As announced in the ad-hoc disclosure of February 2, 2016, the Highlight Group
will concentrate on the two segments Film and Sports- and Event-Marketing. In
the framework of the reorganization and refocusing of the Group, the company
will dispose of the "Other Business Activities" segment, which has not
contributed significantly to the results of the Group as a whole in the past,
during the current fiscal year. In this context, the investment in Highlight
Event & Entertainment AG was sold in the first quarter.
Targets for fiscal year 2016

For the current fiscal year, the Highlight Group is expecting consolidated sales
of CHF 440 million to CHF 460 million and a consolidated net profit for the
period attributable to shareholders of CHF 18 million to CHF 20 million. Key
items in the theatrical slate for the current year are the promising Steven
Spielberg production "The BFG - Big Friendly Giant", the bestseller adaptation
"Girl on a Train" and the screen adaption of the TV classic "Timm Thaler". The
first movie seen by a million people in the first quarter of 2016 was the Robert
de Niro comedy "Dirty Grandpa". In the home entertainment business area, the
Highlight Group will benefit from the new releases of the big theatrical
successes "Fack Ju Göhte 2" and "Look Who's Back".

As in the previous years, the Board of Directors of Highlight Communications AG
will propose the distribution of a dividend for fiscal year 2015 at the Annual
General Meeting. The ordinary Annual General Meeting for fiscal year 2015 will
take place at the Hotel Courtyard by Marriott in Pratteln on June 3, 2016.

The German annual report for 2015 will be available for download at
www.highlight-communications.ch starting from today, and the English version
from March 31, 2016 at the latest.

 

Highlight Group at a glance                                          

Group figures according to IFRS                                      

                                                                     

in CHF million                          2015          2014          Change in %

Sales                                   346.1         412.6         -16.1

EBIT                                    31.1          29.0          7.2

Net profit for the period               17.6          18.1          -2.8

Net profit attributable to shareholders 17.5          16.7          4.8

Earnings per share (in CHF)             0.39          0.37          5.4

Segment sales                                                        

Film                                    290.9         359.1         -19.0

Sports- and Event-Marketing             51.7          49.9          3.6

Other Business Activities               3.4           3.5           -2.9

Segment result                                                       

Film                                    17.2          13.6          26.5

Sports- and Event-Marketing             21.0          22.4          -6.3

Other Business Activities               -1.4          -1.9          26.3

                                                                     

in CHF million                          Dec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014 Change in %

Balance sheet total                     458.0         361.6         26.7

Equity                                  103.8         106.9         -2.9

Equity ratio (%)                        22.7          29.6          -6.9 points

Current financial liabilities           104.3         81.3          28.3

Cash and cash equivalents               106.4         44.8          137.5

                                                                     

                                                                     

For more information:                                                

                                                                     

Highlight Communications AG                                          

Investor Relations                                                   

Netzibodenstrasse 23b                                                

4133 Pratteln BL, Switzerland                                        

Phone: +41 (0)61 816 96 91                                           

E-mail: ir@hlcom.ch                                               

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15.03.2016  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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