Chinese Studio Huayi Brothers Reports 172 Percent Profit Surge for 2013

Wang Zhonglei, CEO of Huayi Brothers

The company co-produced China's biggest box office hit last year, "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons," which grossed $214 million.

Huayi Brothers Media Group, one of China's most established private film studios, announced this week that its annual net profit jumped by 172 percent in 2013, totaling $107 million.

The company said in a statement that its surging profit growth was due to the improved quality and strong performance of its film and TV output, along with progress in its plans to expand its line of cinemas.

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Over the course of 2013, Huayi Brothers generated revenue of $322 million (2 billion yuan), recording year-on-year growth of 45 percent. Its film business posted stellar performance, registering an increase of 76 percent over 2012.

The company co-produced China's biggest box office hit last year, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, which grossed $214 million -- about $89 million more than Iron Man 3, Hollywood's top film in the China market in 2013. 

Huayi said its TV series arm grew 36 percent, while its movie exhibition business recorded year-on-year growth of 60.62 percent.

Forecasting for 2014, the company predicted net profit will surge another 110-140 percent in the first quarter, year over year, with stable growth momentum expected throughout the year.

Huayi Brothers Media Group was founded in Beijing in 1994 by brothers Wang Zhongjun and Wang Zhonglei

In March, the company announced that it plans to inject between $120 million and $150 million in Studio 8, a firm to be launched by former Warner Bros. film studio chief Jeff Robinov. If the deal goes through, Huayi would handle the new production company's output for the China market.

China's overall box office grew 27 Percent in 2013 to $3.6 billion. It is forecasted to total at least $4.6 billion in 2014.