eOne sees revenue grow, earnings fall

The Mark Gordon Company drove TV growth for the media co, though theatrical investments dragged down profitability.
Designated Survivor Kiefer Sutherland 2016

Entertainment One saw revenue growth of 19% across its divisions, according to half-year results released today.

In the period ending Sept. 30, 2016, the global media company saw revenues of $668.4 million (all figures in Canadian dollars), up from $561.7 million last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, however, fell to $63.3 million, down from $86.6 million in 2015. Pre-tax profit also fell 80% to $6.6 million from $30 million in 2015.

The company attributed losses to “the timing of increased theatrical investment in the very strong first half film slate” though it stated it expects the slate to drive performance in the second half.

As a whole, the company’s television division (comprised of eOne Television, The Mark Gordon Company, the Group’s Music operations as well as digital content studio Secret Location, which eOne fully acquired in August) saw revenues of $240.8 million, up 34% from $179.3 million in 2015.

eOne attributed the growth to new productions by The Mark Gordon Company, namely Designated Survivor for ABC, as well as the 2015 acquisitions of Renegade 83, Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang Entertainment.

The television division acquired or produced 360 half hours of new programming in the period, down from 442 half hours in the same period in 2015. Investment in acquired content and productions rose from $111.6 million to $124.8 million in the period. The company stated this investment spend should grow to roughly $233.3 million at the end of the full year, with the company expecting to produce or acqui,100 half hours, up from 998 in 2015.

The company’s Family Division saw revenue growth of 16% to $63.1 million, from $54.5 million at the same time last year, largely driven by its Peppa Pig brand, as well as new properties PJ Masks and Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong. The company reported that nearly 320 new and renewed broadcast and licensing agreements for Peppa Pig were signed in the period.

Meanwhile, eOne’s Film division saw revenue growth of 9% to $403.3 million from $369.3 million last year. Overall theatrical revenues were up 87% and box office takings were up 55%  to US$152 million, from $98 million in 2015. The company attributed the increase to a strong slate of “high quality and impactful films” even though it released 88 films in the period compared to 96 in 2016. The company expects to release roughly 180 film sin the full year.

The company also announced that after nearly 10 years with eOne, chief financial officer Giles Willits has stepped down, with Joe Sparacio appointed interim CFO, effective immediately. Sparacio was most recently CFO of IMAX.