Atlantis revenues rise

Co. sees 67% jump in 2nd qtr. revs, 88% in 1st half of year

TORONTO — Atlantis Communications announced a whopping 67% increase in revenues for the second quarter and an 88% jump in revenues for the first half of the year.

Revenues for the second quarter ended June 30, 1998, were 43.3 million, up from 26.0 million for the corresponding quarter a year earlier. Of that, broadcasting revenues were C$8.2 million ($5.3 million) and TV production and distribution were $22.6 million.

The jump in revenue is largely thanks to the licensing of European, African and Middle Eastern rights for a number of TV movies and series library titles to Endemol Entertainment for about $6.5 million. Aside from that, “there was a slight increase in the hours,” said Atlantis chairman and CEO Michael MacMillan. “Really, all sources of revenue are up.”

The Toronto-based television production and distribution company and specialty channel owner saw a 58% increase in net earnings for the second quarter, to $425,000 from $270,000 for the same quarter last year. On a per-share basis, the increase was 25%, from 2.6¢ to 3.2¢.

Net earnings for the first six months of 1998 jumped by almost 93%, to $1.7 million from $900,000 for the first half of last year. On a per-share basis, the increase was 64%, from 9¢ to 15¢.

“Overall, ’98 will be an excellent year and a strongly better year than ’97,” MacMillan said, adding that he does not wish to give the impression this rate of income of growth will continue for the entire year. “I think we’re going to be hitting our target of 20% increase in net income growth over the year.”

Atlantis announced plans in July to merge with Canada’s other production powerhouse, Toronto-based Alliance Communications. When combined, the two companies, to be called Alliance Atlantis, will save money by eliminating duplication, and their unified girth will make them better able to compete in the international marketplace. The shareholder approval vote for the merger will be held on Sept. 16 for both companies, and according to MacMillan, who will be post-merger chairman and CEO, if they get the shareholders’ OK, the merger will take effect a couple of days later.

MacMillan said there will be some one-time and restructuring costs, which will accrue between October and next March. The merged entity will be moving its year end to March 31, he said, with the expectation that “as we go into our first fully merged year, April 1, 1999, we’ll go in with all of those costs behind us.”

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