Entertainment One Swings to Loss on Alliance Deal Costs

The film and TV producer saw revenue rise sharply after becoming the biggest indie movie distributor in Canada and the U.K.

TORONTO – The acquisition of Alliance Films on Monday pushed full-year 2012 revenue up sharply at Canadian producer Entertainment One.

But one-time purchase charges helped lead the Canadian indie producer to a year-end loss of $1.6 million to March 31, 2013, against earnings of $26.6 million in the year-earlier period.

Unadjusted pre-tax profits were down sharply to $8.3 million, compared with year-earlier pre-tax profits of $35.2 million.

Entertainment One, which has now folded its legacy packaged distribution business into its expanding film division after rearranging reporting lines, posted total revenue up 25 percent to $994.2 million.

That was due in part to success distributing the Twilight vampire movie franchise in Canada and the U.K., where the company is now the biggest indie movie distributor.

"It has been a very positive year for Entertainment One, and I am delighted to report another strong set of results," company president and CEO Darren Throop said Monday in a statement.

At the same time, the Peppa Pig co-owner’s bottom line was hit by $40.8 million in one-time charges, including $30 million in Alliance Films-related restructuring and acquisition costs, potential payouts to top executives, and HMV and Blockbuster administration charges.

Revenues at the film division jumped 25 percent to $788.8 million as the company released more than 200 titles theatrically during full-year 2012, with gross box office up 79 percent to $376 million against a year-earlier $210 million.

The takeover of Alliance Films gave Entertainment One access via supply deals to movie titles including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The King's Speech via supply deals with The Weinstein Co., Focus Features and Relativity Media, among others.

Recent releases include The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, The Sapphires, Looper and The Impossible.

Entertainment One’s physical home entertainment wholesale business, now accounted for as part of the film division, continued to face “tough trading conditions," the company reported.

The TV division saw revenue rise 15 percent to $203 million as it delivered 295 half-hours of programming, including ABC’s Rookie Blue and DirecTV’s Call Me Fitz, against 237 half-hours in the same period of full-year 2011.

Entertainment One, which trades on the London Stock Exchange, is seeking a premium listing on its FTSE 250 market.