Writers strike hits Pinewood profits

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LONDON -- U.K. studio facilities group Pinewood Shepperton, listed on the stock exchange here, posted a slump in operating profits to 8.1 million pounds ($16 million) in the 12 months to December 2007 from 9.1 million pounds the previous year.

The fall in profits came on the back of a slide in turnover from 40.7 million pounds during 2006 to 37.4 million pounds ($74.2 million), the studio group reported Thursday.

The figures come on the back of production start delays, the weak dollar and the impact of the U.S. writers strike.

Pinewood Shepperton's film revenues took a tumble during 2007 to 19.5 million pounds ($38.7 million) from 22.5 million pounds the previous year on the back of the economic conditions.

But television revenues bucked the falls with a rise in revenues to 12.1 million pounds ($24 million), up from 2006 tallies of 11.8 million pounds.

Last year Pinewood's facilities played host to several U.S. bankrolled productions including Warner Bros' "Sweeney Todd," Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum" and New Line's "The Golden Compass."

Currently occupying the Pinewood lot is the latest James Bond outing "Quantum Of Solace" and Univeral's "The Wolfman."
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