Internet a Bright Spot in Private Media's Fiscal Year

Rhett Pardon

BARCELONA — Private Media Group said that its fiscal year ended with increased online adult sales, which led to higher sales overall.

Internet sales increased $2.3 million to $21.6  million, which represents a hike of 12 percent compared to the same period last year, said Johan Gillborg, Private's chief financial officer, who attributed the gain to the relaunch of

Overall, for the 12 months ending in December, Private said it had sales of $33.9 million compared to sales of $33.7 million for the same period in 2009, an increase of one percent.

But the Barcelona-based company that bills itself as the most-distributed adult brand swung to a $6.3 million loss from operations in 2010.  In comparison, Private had a $29.9 million loss the previous year

Private's Internet business has been a bright one, Gillborg said.

Its relaunched platform "has proved to have improved conversion rates and during the second half of 2010 the new membership pay-site attracted 73 percent more unique visitors compared to the previous one in the same period in 2009." Gillborg said.

Despite a six-percent lull in mobile sales, Private has high hopes for the sector and has ramped up its release of smartphone apps to increase traffic.

Gillborg said its GameLink division has seen success with a proprietary mobile solution enabling smartphone users to stream more than 15,000 movies. It even has added white-label solutions for mobile companies.

"Our weekly sales for the GameLink VOD mobile solution has been steadily increasing since its launch," said Gillborg, while adding that its Sureflix division also has contributed to Private's bottom line, particularly with its new Maleflixxx Mobile platform.

"With the smartphone market growing rapidly, we expect to generate substantial growth from our mobile VOD initiatives going forward," Gillborg said.

Gillborg said there were again double-digit decreases in sales of DVDs and magazines, with a 14 percent dip in broadcast sales.

Private called slumping DVD sales an "industrywide" problem.

"During 2010, the DVD market has continued to shrink, with sales for our physical products declining by 18 percent," said Gillborg, Private's chief financial officer. "However, the DVD business is by no means dead even in this competitive landscape.

"The content providers that manage to survive the current 'clean out' will control the DVD market going forward."