Lionsgate Earnings Rise, Revenue Falls

Lionsgate Official Logo - H 2012

Lionsgate Official Logo - H 2012

The "Divergent" studio on Thursday posted a sharply higher profit, even as overall revenue slid due to fewer wide releases.

TORONTO — Lionsgate on Thursday reported higher first-quarter earnings, even as revenue fell.

The ministudio, led by CEO Jon Feltheimer, posted earnings at $43.2 million for the three months to June 30, 2014, compared to a profit of $13.6 million in the year-ago period.

The ministudio posted first quarter 2015 revenue of $449.4 million, well down from $569.7 million in the prior year.

Lionsgate had only two wide theatrical releases in the quarter, the horror thriller The Quiet Ones and the Kevin Costner NFL dramedy Draft Day, compared to three wide releases, including the hit Now You See Me, in the prior year quarter.

And the ministudio had lower TV production revenue from fewer deliveries of Mad Men.

Overall motion picture segment revenue for the quarter was $331.9 million, against a year-earlier $438.6 million, while the motion picture segment's theatrical revenue fell to $42.7 million due to the year-over-year theatrical slate mix.

Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue also fell during the quarter to $140.9 million, compared to $169.4 million in the same period of 2013.

Lifted by TV windows opening for the Ender's Game and Red 2 movie titles, TV revenue within the motion picture segment jumped 60 percent to $58.8 million, against a year-earlier $36.8 million.

And the international motion picture segment revenue, excluding Lionsgate U.K., during the first quarter came to $60.7 million, down from $79.1 million in the prior year quarter.

Lionsgate U.K. posted revenue of $30 million, compared to $32.4 million the same period of 2013.

And TV production revenue was $117.5 million, down from a year-earlier $131.1 million as international revenue driven by Anger Management, Orange is the New Black and Mad Men was offset by fewer domestic series deliveries, due mainly to the timing of Mad Men episode deliveries.

Feltheimer on Thursday looked beyond the revenue drop during what he called a typically "light" fiscal quarter for Lionsgate.

"During the quarter we deepened our portfolio of brands and franchises, extended our global reach and formed entrepreneurial partnerships with digital and traditional platforms alike as we used our strengths as an innovative pure play content company to position ourselves for continued growth and profitability in an increasingly dynamic industry environment," the Lionsgate head said in a statement.

Feltheimer and other top Lionsgate executives will hold an analyst call to discuss their latest financial results on Friday morning.