Interest, admin costs drag down Peace Arch Q1

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Despite a jump in revenue, Peace Arch Entertainment Tuesday posted a widened first-quarter loss thanks to higher interest and an increase in selling, general and administrative costs.

The Toronto-based producer said that it lost CAN$1.1 million ($1.07 million) during the three months ending Nov. 30, compared with a loss of CAN$373,000 in 2007.

First-quarter revenue came to CAN$17.2 million ($16.7 million), against a year-earlier CAN$11.3 million, as Peace Arch nearly doubled its home entertainment business after its acquisition of U.S. DVD distributor Trinity Home Entertainment.

In addition to Trinity, Peace Arch also picked up the Castle Hill/Dream film library and the Dufferin Gate Prods. studio facility in Toronto during 2007.

But the Canadian producer absorbed a higher interest expense in the last quarter due to increased production loans and SG&A costs that more than doubled to CAN$4.01 million ($3.89 million).

Peace Arch COO John Flock said that he expects operating costs to moderate over the current year as the producer does fewer direct-to DVD titles and more small- to mid-size theatrical movies.

Peace Arch said it delivered three movies during the latest quarter -- "The Last Hit Man," "The Four Horsemen," and "Grindstone Rd" -- along with telefilm "Ace of Hearts" and 22 episodes of three TV series.

The Canadian producer also expects an order for a third season of Showtime drama "The Tudors" by mid-April.

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