Entertainment One Earnings Drop on Film Unit Weakness

Full-year revenue fell 9 percent at the Canadian indie studio, which trades on the London Stock Exchange.

Canadian producer and distributor Entertainment One on Tuesday reported a lower full-year 2019 pretax profit on reduced revenue as film business weakness was only partially offset by strong sales of its Peppa Pig preschool property brands.

Toronto-based eOne, which trades on the London Stock Exchange, saw pretax profits for the year to March 31 drop 43 percent to 36.8 million pounds (US$46.7 million) from a year-earlier 64.9 million pounds. Revenue was down 9 percent to 941.2 million pounds (US$1.19 billion).

The full-year profit was undercut by higher financing charges and a one-off charge of 68 million pounds (US$83 million) related to the impairment of assets within the film distribution businesses and related costs. Adjusted pretax profits after removing one-off costs rose 20 percent to 155.9 million pounds (US$203 million).

eOne had fewer movie releases after restructuring its film distribution unit, with key releases being Green Book, Vice and Stan & Ollie, while growth in its family and brands division was spurred by strong consumer product sales of its Peppa Pig property, especially in China.

Revenues at its newly combined film, TV and music division, which includes The Mark Gordon Company, was down 13 percent to 789.4 million pounds (US$1.02 billion), due to lower transactional, broadcast, licensing and production revenue.

"The work and organizational shifts that we have accomplished over the last few years have positioned the business well in the marketplace, as we reinforced our content creation and ownership anchor and expanded our end-to-end capabilities to ensure we maximize our ability to unlock the power and value of creativity," said eOne CEO Darren Throop in a statement.