Entertainment One Ltd. ('the Company', or 'the Group')
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Entertainment One Ltd.
Interim Management Statement
Entertainment One Ltd., the international entertainment group, presents its Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 April 2012.
§ Successful start to the year with Group revenues in first quarter increasing by 16%
§ Solid performance in Film business with a strong slate for the remainder of the year
§ Excellent growth in Television business driving an increase in revenue of over 200%
§ Further international expansion for Peppa Pig includes new deals with broadcasters in Italy, Spain, New Zealand and South Africa
§ Full year results anticipated to be in line with management's expectations
The Group has experienced another successful quarter with trading in the period in line with management expectations. Revenues increased 16% on a proforma and constant currency basis (18% at reported exchange rates). Full year results are anticipated to be in line with management's expectations.
Film revenues during the period were slightly ahead of the prior year. The Group released 49 movies theatrically compared to 36 in the first quarter last year, with a particularly active schedule in the UK which released seven movies (one in the comparative period). Successful titles included The Angels' Share, The Pact, Moonrise Kingdom, Wish You Were Here and Killer Joe.
The Group acquired 20 movies at the Cannes festival in May, including: the sequel to the 2010 action thriller RED (which was a box office success for eOne reaching number one in the UK and Canada); crime thriller Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman; biopic Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman; and multi-territory rights to the film adaptation of the first book in the popular young adult drama series Mortal Instruments.
The slate for the remainder of the financial year includes theatrical releases of Australian comedy The Sapphires (starring Chris O'Dowd), police drama The Sweeney (Ray Winstone and Plan B), action movie Looper (Bruce Willis), the sequel to the hugely successful 2009 Christmas comedy Nativity (released by eOne in the UK and Canada, starring David Tennant) and, in November, the final episode in the blockbuster Twilight Saga series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.
Television delivered 67 half hours of programming in the first quarter, significantly ahead of the prior year, driving an increase of more than 200% in revenue. In addition to the remaining episodes of crime series The Firm and the third season of cop show Rookie Blue, deliveries in the period included first episodes of new hospital drama Saving Hope and second seasons of contemporary western Hell on Wheels and reality show Mary Mary.
The pipeline within the television business remains strong. New drama Rogue and the third season of Haven are now in production while the fourth season of Call Me Fitz commences filming later in the year. A fourth season of Rookie Blue, has been commissioned and will also begin filming before the end of the year. The reality and factual slates are also expanding with production in progress on new series Builder Boss and SugarStars and a new season of The Devil You Know.
International sales continue to grow and the business expects to deliver around 250 half hours of programming this year with deliveries weighted to the second half.
Family is also performing well. In the US Peppa Pig's viewing figures remain strong and preparations for the forthcoming nationwide merchandising launch with exclusive toy partners Fisher-Price and Toys 'R' Us and publishers Scholastic and Candlewick Press are progressing as planned. Peppa Pig recently won the Best Television License Program of the Year category at the annual International Licensing Industry Merchandising Association awards in Las Vegas and is maintaining momentum internationally. Further deals have recently been agreed with Disney Junior in Italy and Spain (further strengthening existing broadcast platforms with RAI and TVE respectively), with TV2 and Media Works in New Zealand and with ETV in South Africa. The second series of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom is now airing on Nick Jr. in the UK and broadcast on FIVE's Milkshake begins in the autumn.
The Distribution division experienced a robust quarter with a slowing of the sales decline experienced in the last 12 months. Revenues were in line with expectations and only 5% down on the prior year.
Net debt at 30 June 2012 was higher than the corresponding point in the prior year due to the planned increased activity in the Television business. Adjusted net debt, which excludes interim television production financing, was lower than the prior year, although was higher than at 31 March 2012 due to usual seasonal factors and timing of the investment profile of the Film business. Net assets were in line with the previous year end.
Further to the Company's announcement in May 2012, discussions relating to the potential acquisition of Alliance Films are ongoing. These discussions may or may not lead to a transaction being concluded. The Company will provide further updates in due course.
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Entertainment One Ltd.
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Notes to Editors:
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specialises in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company's comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 24,000 film and television titles, 2,700 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
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