Entertainment One swings to full-year profit

Distributing second 'Twilight' film helped boost numbers

TORONTO -- Distributing the "Twilight" movie franchise helped Entertainment One on Tuesday swing to a full-year profit.

E1, which is based in the Cayman Islands and and trades on the London Alternative Investments Market, reported pre-tax earnings of $11 million, against a loss of $49.5 million in 2009.

E1, which plans to shift its domicile to Canada, in November 2009 released "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," the second installment of the Summit Entertainment franchise, in both the Canadian and U.K. markets.

Stepped up investment in film and TV product to diversify the company away from physical media wholesaling business also pushed revenue for the year to March 31 to $709.8 million, up 30% from a year-earlier $547.5 million.

Film and TV revenue at $361 million now accounts for half E1's overall business, with its North American music, DVD and video game wholesaling business close behind at $331 million in full-year revenue.

E1 released 123 theatrical films during its latest reporting period, and delivered 213 half-hours of TV programming, including the ABC "Rookie Blue" and the CBS "The Bridge" series.

The foray into filmed entertainment continues to have a hefty P&A spend, $89 million in 2010, against a year-earlier $57.2 million.

The payback has seen the first of the "Twilight" films so far secure over two million DVD sales in the U.K. and almost one million in Canada.

E1 will release "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" in June 2010.

Investment in TV content and production also doubled to $34.5 million, against a year-earlier $17.2 million spend.

E1 said it has applied to move its stock listing to the main London Stock Exchange, a shift expected to occur by July.
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