eOne posts first results since Alliance Films takeover

Despite sharply higher revenue and underlying earnings growth, the producer and distributor posted a modest loss due to acquisition costs and other one-time items.
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Entertainment One, having for the most part completed its takeover of Alliance Films, on Tuesday delivered its first post-merger results.

The combined firm’s overall revenues jumped 25% to $994.2 million for the year to March 31, 2013.

Revenues for the film division rose 25% to $788.8 million on over 200 titles released theatrically during the latest fiscal year, including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, The Sapphires and Looper.

And the TV division saw its revenue rise 15% to $203 million as it delivered 295 half-hours of programming, including series like Call Me Fitz and Haven, compared to 237 half-hours in full-year 2011.

But post-integration expenses to mesh the two companies, which included a mix of executive promotions and exits,  dented the bottom line to the tune of $40.8 million in one-time charges, compared to $5.6 million in one-off items at the end of full-year 2011.

The latest charges included $30 million in Alliance Films-related restructuring and acquisition costs, $8 million in potential incentive payouts, and a charge following the HMV and Blockbuster administration proceedings.

The result was Entertainment One posted a loss of $1.6 million at the end of FY2012, against a year-earlier profit of $26.6 million.

Aside from the hit to the bottom line from the one-time items, the latest financial snapshot of Entertainment One on Mar. 31, 2013 gives clues to the early post-merger performance of the Canadian producer/distributor as it promises steady profit growth going forward.

Excluding Alliance-related acquisition expenses, the reported underlying EBITDA was $94.8 million, compared to a year-earlier $85.7 million.

Underlying EBITDA accounts for earnings before one-off items, share-based payment charges, net finance charges, tax, depreciation and amortisation of intangible assets.

The company also said that, with the integration of Alliance Films “now substantially complete,” Entertainment One would deliver on promised Alliance synergies of $20 million sooner than expected.

Entertainment One CEO Darren Throop in a statement expressed optimism over his company’s post-merger financial results in what the company termed a “transformational year.”

“It has been a very positive year for Entertainment One and I am delighted to report another strong set of results,” he said.

“This clearly demonstrates the strength of our strategy of investing in world-class content and exploiting our distribution rights on a multi-territory, multi-platform basis,” he added.

At the same time, higher administrative expenses in part led to an operating profit of just $20.7 million for full-year 2012, compared to $44.75 million for fiscal 2011.

And the unadjusted pre-tax profits came in at $8.3 million, against a year-earlier $35.2 million.