Revenues boost Lionsgate Q3 earnings

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TORONTO -- Higher revenues lifted Canadian mini studio Lionsgate on Friday to sharply higher third-quarter earnings.

Vancouver-based Lionsgate reported earnings of $20.4 million for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $3.1 million in fiscal 2006.

Third-quarter revenues came to $254.5 million, against a year-earlier $229.3 million, as Lionsgate saw strong boxoffice for "Saw III" and "Employee of the Month" raise motion picture revenues by 9% to $221.6 million, compared with $203.3 million last year.

Lionsgate's home video revenues were $113.6 million, down 2% from a year-earlier $115.9 million. The main DVD sellers include "Akeelah and the Bee," "An American Haunting" and the 15th anniversary special edition of "Reservoir Dogs."

Lionsgate recorded $27.6 million in international revenues, up 90% from $14.5 million in fiscal 2006, owing to revenues from Lionsgate U.K. and foreign sales of "Crank," "Saw II," "Saw III" and "The Lost City."

TV revenues in the motion picture segment rose 55% to $31.2 million, against a year-earlier $20.2 million. Separately, TV production revenues were $32.9 million, up 27% from $26 million from fiscal 2006, on the strength of deliveries for "Wildfire," "Dirty Dancing: The Reality Series" and "The Lost Room."

"We are pleased that all of our core businesses made important contributions to our profitability and free cash flow for the quarter," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement ahead of a planned analyst call on Monday morning.
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