Oz, the U.S. and Beyond

Profit boost has outfit thinking big

Australian TV production and distribution outfit Beyond International Ltd. is eyeing several overseas acquisitions and an expansion of its U.S. operations in the wake of a 40% jump in annual profits, managing director Mikael Borglund said Monday.

The company — which, with shows like "Mythbusters" for Discovery Networks, has refashioned itself as a key producer of factual programming — reported a boost in after-tax profit to AUS$4.34 million ($3.5 million), despite revenue rising just 4% to AUS$68.4 million ($56 million) for the 12 months through June 30.

Earnings rose 29% to AUS$12.14 million ($9.9 million) in the same period.

Beyond attributed the rise in profit to the "consistent" performance of its factual and kids TV production division, increased international sales and 10 months of earnings from DVD distributor Force Entertainment, which it acquired during the year.

Borglund said the company is looking at production businesses in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. for possible acquisition but did not give further details.

"These acquisitions would give the company access to new program genres and customers, and the international sales rights would be exploited though existing international distribution infrastructure," Borglund said.

The company also is planning further U.S. expansion, with new Southern California offices being added to its production outposts in Washington and San Francisco.

Beyond additionally forecast further earnings and profit growth of 15%–20% in the current fiscal year.