Lionsgate posts narrowed loss for fiscal 2010

Studio also saw $113.6 million from its TV Guide Network

TORONTO -- Despite higher revenue, an embattled Lionsgate on Tuesday posted a narrowed loss for a fiscal 2010 that ended with a hostile takeover bid from activist shareholder Carl Icahn.

As its gets set to hold an analyst call Wednesday morning, Vancouver-based Lionsgate said it shrunk its full-year loss from $178.5 million in fiscal 2009 to a loss of $19.5 million during the latest frame.

The full-year results to March 31 were revealed on the same day Icahn piled more pressure on Lionsgate by extending his unsolicited $7 per-share tender offer for all company shares to June 16.

Overall revenue rose 8% to $1.584 billion, as higher TV and Mandate Pictures business offset falling overall motion picture revenue driven by fewer theatrical releases.

Also on the TV side, Lionsgate posted $113.6 million in revenue from its newly-acquired TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com assets.

At the same time, Lionsgate's bottom line was hit mainly by a $26.6 million start-up loss on its investment in the Epix premium TV service, alongside partners Viacom and MGM.

The mini-studio's overall 2010 motion picture revenue was off 9% to $1.12 billion, with theatrical revenue falling 38% to $139.4 million on a smaller slate of 10 releases, including "Precious," "Daybreakers" and "Saw 6," against 16 pictures released in fiscal 2009.

Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue from motion pictures and TV falling 10% to $608.2 million won't calm industry-wide concerns over a continuing DVD slump.

TV remains a bright spot for Lionsgate as it continues to diversify from theatrical film.

The overall TV business reported record revenue up 58% to $350.9 million in 2010, with revenue from domestic TV series licensing up 48% to $240 million.

The international TV segment saw revenue rise 70% to $42.3 million in 2010, while home entertainment revenue from TV production was $67.8 million, up 94% year-over-year.

And TV in the motion pictures category, mainly pay TV, saw revenue rise 10% to $186.7 million in 2010, on a slate that included "Madea Goes to Jail," and "The Haunting in Connecticut."

There was a similar 10% revenue decline in international motion picture business to $73.4 million.

Lionsgate U.K. revenue rose 22% to $74.3 million this past year, as did Mandate Pictures' revenue of $99.1 million, up 118% from the prior year on a slate that included "Juno," "Drag Me to Hell" and "Whip It."
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