Chrysalis posts sales hike plus pre-tax loss

LONDON – Chrysalis Group, the music and entertainment company, has posted a pre-tax loss of £5.36 million ($8.7 million) for the year ending Aug. 31, despite a 27% boost in sales to $181 million for the period. In the previous year, Chrysalis posted a pre-tax profit of $1.6 million.

The loss reflects startup investment of $11 million in the company’s Echo record label as well as its radio stations, and also $3 million in losses and closure costs for the shutdown of Chrysalis’ film division. The decision to close the division came last September and prompted internal acrimony, including the resignation of producer David Puttnam from the Chrysalis board of directors.

Chrysalis’ TV production division, Chrysalis Visual Entertainment, posted a $2.9 million pre-tax profit for the year with sales up 38% to $53 million. The division’s chief exec, Michael Pilsworth, indicated that he expected the company to be “a lot more profitable next year” and that it is to become acquisitive on the continent.

Recently, Chrysalis agreed a joint venture, TV production company CVI Media Group, with the Dutch media company VNU. CVI will be based in Amsterdam and will spearhead continental growth. Pilsworth said that CVI will spend some $49 million “buying profitable established businesses over the next two to three years.”

Although music publishing continues to be lucrative for Chrysalis – the music division’s catalog boasts approximately 30,000 song titles – investing in new acts will be a priority.

Chrysalis executive chairman Chris Wright cited the success of U.K. signings such as Babybird as boding well for the future.

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