MGM’s 3rd-qtr. losses expand to $ 79.8 mil

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s third-quarter losses widened to $ 79.8 million ($ 1.33 per share) from $ 73.3 million ($ 1.22), as interest, income tax and other expenses rose, the studio reported yesterday.

However, MGM said it cut operating losses from $ 52.5 million to $ 27.2 million as it tries to remake itself after years of asset sales, takeover attempts and legal battles under previous owners Kirk Kerkorian and Giancarlo Parretti.

Revenue rose 13%, from $ 202.2 million to $ 228.5 million.

The historic studio has wound up a 98.5%-owned subsidiary of giant French bank Credit Lyonnais.

With MGM’s legal battles subsided for now, movie development and production has stepped up as the studio is offered more projects, MGM said. The results of those projects won’t show up until next year and thereafter, however.

In the meantime, MGM has increased its borrowing, a fact reflected in a rise from $ 29.7 million to $ 32.6 million in net interest expense.

Separately, Pathe Communications Corp., the former holding company for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., posted a $ 11.8 million (9 cents a share) net loss for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The company had recorded an $ 83.5 million (72 cents) net loss for the same period last year. The company has no revenues.

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