Media China Corporation announced a 54 per cent growth in revenue from continuing operations to HK$276.45 million and a net profit of HK$66.1 million for last year. The group holds about HK$643 million in cash and bank balances, which almost tripled from HK$217 million a year earlier. The increase in cash and bank balances was mainly led by the group's open offer and share placement in December last year, that helped raise net proceeds of about HK$430 million, and the investment made by IDG Capital Partners, a professional investment fund with vast experience in the media industry. 'With IDG becoming our strategic shareholder, the group's shareholding structure and capital base has further strengthened,' says Wang Hong, the group's chief executive. 'Moreover, the group relaunched content production in the first half of 2009. Our maiden investment in the movie Bodyguards and Assassins was very successful and its box office revenue on the mainland was nearly 300 million yuan [HK$341 million].' Aiming to become one of the leading cross-media groups on the mainland, Media China's main operations include television advertising and content production. Both segments recorded growth in the year ending December 31. Revenue from television advertising increased 54 per cent from HK$178 million to HK$274 million, while revenue from content production increased from HK$1.61 million to HK$2.04 million. 'The media industry on the mainland is beginning to transform,' Wang says. 'With the rapid development of the internet, new forms of media are increasingly popular.' The group has set up expansion plans for satellite television channels, digital television channels and new channels such as mobile and internet television. It will integrate sports, travel and leisure, lifestyle and entertainment, music and other high-quality content to provide an extensive media platform. Since its establishment, the group's Travel Channel has been its main source of advertising revenue. Advertising revenue for the Travel Channel increased 41 per cent to more than 200 million yuan last year. The rise in advertising revenue can be attributed to the launch of nationwide reality shows and competitions, increased revenue from sponsorships and the extension of broadcast coverage to more than 400 million people and into more second-tier cities. The group has set up a joint venture with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hainan TV, which became the exclusive advertising agent for the Travel Channel on January 1. It estimates that the channel's advertising revenue will increase to 700 million yuan in three to five years as a result of the joint venture. Media resources procurement business achieved satisfactory growth and contributed 9 per cent of revenue from television advertising. Customers were able to obtain media resources from local television stations and were offered one-stop solutions, including planning, broadcasting, monitoring of advertising and improving payment logistics. Wang Ping, the former deputy chief editor of Hunan Satellite TV, was appointed general manager of the joint venture and of Hai Nan Haishi Tourist Satellite TV Media. 'We believe that Ms Wang's experience will benefit the group and that she will be able to help improve the quality of our programmes,' Wang says. 'We also believe that through introducing an experienced management team our advertising sales will further improve.' Media China is working on strengthening its co-operation with local governments and tourism administrations on the mainland in the production of travel-related promotional programmes to be broadcast on the Travel Channel. The central government has proposed plans to accelerate the convergence of broadcasting, telecommunications and internet networks, and the development of cultural and tourism sectors. 'While the group aims at strengthening its ties, the expansion of its coverage into second-tier and third-tier cities to reach up to 600 million people is also one of our main targets,' Wang says. The State Council has approved a plan to develop Hainan province as 'Hainan International Tourism Island'. This will benefit the Travel Channel, which is based in Hainan. 'The government plans definitely benefit the group in many ways,' Wang says. 'Many new opportunities will be created and we have come up with a new project that will be announced in June.' Media China will put in more effort to develop its client base and expand its media resources procurement services by providing customers with professional advertising agency services. The group plans to invest about HK$150 million in its media resources procurement and internet advertising businesses. The funding will cover working capital, research and development and acquisition of new media. 'We will continue to expand our content production segment in the coming year,' Wang says. 'We will invest more than 100 million yuan in the production of movies and television dramas on the mainland, including joint productions with IDG Capital Partners and Shanghai Media Group.'