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Balaji sets up base in Sharjah

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Delhi (UNI): After successfully capturing the Indian television soap opera market, Balaji Telefilms is now all set to weave its magic over the West Asian market with the setting up of its 100 per cent subsidiary at Sharjah for the production of the ''can't do with or without'' serials. The Sharjah arm of the company is expected to be operational there by the first week of November this year. The production house has already bagged one order to produce a serial and is negotiating with different channels for other serials there, a company statement said.

The increasing popularity of the Balaji serials has fuelled a 38.84 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 17.3 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2006 as against Rs 12.5 crore in the corresponding period last year. The maiden and the most popular offering of the production house -- Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, began way back in the year 2000, and is still topping the charts in India, in terms of its TRP.

Other serials like 'Kahiin To Hoga' and 'Kavyanjali' also consistently figure in the top 30 programmes on prime time, an aspect that could also strengthen Balaji Telefilms' case for a higher price card for its commissioned programmes.

Ms Ekta Kapoor, the creative head of Balaji Telefilms, has produced and co-produced all her soaps with names starting from letter 'K'. Balaji Telefilms also has a profitable presence in film production. The company, in which Star Group has a 25 per cent stake, has cash resources worth Rs 160 crore, and Balaji aims to increase this amount by at least 50 per cent over the next 12 months.

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