Pinewood results in line with expectations

Film revenue weighted to the second half of 2009

LONDON -- U.K. studio facilities group Pinewood Shepperton, listed here on the stock exchange, said Friday that the downturn in the first six months of the year is "in line with expectations."

The group told the market that "as expected" revenue performance for the period from Jan. 1-June 4 "is below the comparable period for last year."

Trading for the period is in line with the statement made on March 24, when the company announced preliminary results for the year. The group then posted an uptick in revenue and pretax profits, offering a faint ray of light in the global economic gloom.

For the group's film business, the result of Tuesday's ballot on proposals for the resolution of negotiations between the U.S. studios and the SAG for a new contract, is expected to bolster prospects for the second half of the year.

Industry commentators anticipate agreement being reached, which will further enable U.S. film producers to plan for production with more certainty, Pinewood said.

The group also noted that despite the cuts in U.K. broadcasters' program investment here, the company "continues to experience consistent demand for its television services" and is well placed "to offer cost effective production solutions in response to increasing pressure on production budgets."

The gloomy confirmation comes just a day after U.K. Film Council statistics for the first quarter of 2009 showed a slump in production here.

Anticipated revenue for 2009 are in line with market expectations, with film revenue weighted to the second half, Pinewood Shepperton said.