Pinewood shares fall on flat revenue forecast

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LONDON -- Shares in film and television studio operator Pinewood Shepperton fell dramatically Wednesday as it admitted that delays in the start of some film productions will set back group revenue for 2007.

The studio behind such productions as "Casino Royale" added that film business contracted for the first half of 2008 "is much greater than would be usual at this time."

The company is strategically shifting its business from heavy dependence on fluctuating film revenue into the more resilient television production business.

Shares dropped 7.5% to £2.66 ($5.24) in early trading as Pinewood issued a trading statement saying that film revenue was "likely to be flat year-on-year and that overall revenues are expected to show only a small year-on-year increase."

Pinewood, which is hoping to provide facilities for the next Bond film, did not disclose which films were subject to delay.

Analyst forecasts predict that2007 revenue will come in at about £45 million ($88.6 million), according to Reuters.

"The timing of film production is always a major variable for our film services business, and the outlook for the second half reflects this," Pinewood Shepperton CEO Ivan Dunleavy said, pointing out that television revenue remained strong in the second half of 2007.

"I am pleased to say that, as expected, we have a number of major productions that are already contracted to use the studios in the latter part of this year," Dunleavy said. "Our strategy to diversify our business away from more volatile film revenues continues to show positive benefits."
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