Lionsgate timing off in Q1

Lionsgate timing off in Q1

TORONTO -- Vancouver-based Lionsgate on Wednesday posted a first-quarter loss on lower revenue attributed to the timing of TV deliveries.

The studio and distributor posted a first-quarter loss of $3.6 million for the three months ending June 30, compared with a loss of $21.8 million for 2005. Revenue for the period fell 11% to $172.5 million, compared with a year-earlier $194.2 million.

First-quarter video revenue rose 18% to $114.8 million, compared with $97.4 million for last year. TV production revenue of $7.3 million, by contrast, fell 84% from $45.9 million in 2005, a drop that was blamed on delivery timing issues.

The Canadian company has 11 series playing in primetime, virtually all cable series, including "The Dead Zone," "Weeds" and "Wildfire." Lionsgate is looking to sell the broadcast syndication rights to "The Dead Zone," now on USA, and is prepping a first run for its "House of Pain" property with Debmar-Mercury.

Elsewhere, theatrical revenue of $18.5 million was off 17% from a year-earlier $22.3 million as "Akeelah and the Bee" and "See No Evil" were Lionsgate's main releases during the latest quarter.

First-quarter international revenue rose 55% to $15.5 million, compared with $10 million in 2005, as Lionsgate sold "Saw II," "Hard Candy" and "Fierce People," among other properties.

On the acquisitions front, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told financial analysts that his company was likely to follow up the recent acquisition of the Debmar-Mercury syndication company with additional deals.

"We're looking at a number of other deals consistent with our acquisition strategy, internationally and domestically, to continue expanding strong growth areas, including our television library and music publishing," he told analysts during a conference call.

Feltheimer added that Lionsgate sees no need to revise its fiscal 2007 guidance at this time.