eOne Full-Year Earnings Rise, but Film Revenue Drops

Molly's Game Still Jessica Chastain - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of MPA/STX

The studio cites "volume and mix of titles compared to the higher-profile releases in the prior year" as reasons for the weaker film results, while 'Peppa Pig' remained a strong performer.

Independent studio Entertainment One on Tuesday posted a higher full fiscal-year profit, but revenue fell 4 percent as weaker film results more than offset improved performances in its TV and family units, the latter driven by the success of children’s series Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.

eOne said its pretax profit for the fiscal year ended in March more than doubled to 78 million pounds, or $105 million, thanks to lower restructuring costs and strength in the TV and family businesses. Adjusted for one-off costs, pretax profit rose 11 percent to 144 million pounds, or $194 million. Revenue dropped to 1.05 billion pounds, or $1.41 billion. 

Family division revenue jumped a better-than-expected 50 percent as Peppa Pig performed well in China, selling more than 40 million books there since its launch in the country in April 2016.

TV unit revenue increased 19 percent, "driven by the strong production slate," including Designated Survivor, which ABC recently canceled.

But eOne's film revenue fell 32 percent, with earnings in the unit down 33 percent. 

Theatrical revenue fell 41 percent as the company's total number of film releases dropped to 144 from 172 in the prior year and the number of individual film releases in the year declined from 102 to 85. "The decrease in revenue is a
result of volume and mix of titles compared to the higher-profile releases in the prior year, which included The BFG, The Girl on the Train and Arrival," eOne said. The latest year's releases included Molly’s Game, The Post and I, Tonya

“Entertainment One has delivered another year of double-digit growth in profits and earnings," said eOne chairman Allan Leighton. "This has been accomplished against the backdrop of continued change across the content industries and the evolution of the group to fully align itself with its creative partners and customers."

Said CEO Darren Throop: "The reshaping of the film businesses is progressing well as we focus increasingly on our production activities with important partners, such as Steven Spielberg and Brad Weston. This transition will enable us to improve the return on investment in film content and at the same time reduce risks across the business."

As of the new fiscal year that started in April, the company has combined its film and TV divisions into one segment.