Alliance Atlantis’ revs, earnings rise

Increase due to 'Austin Powers 2'

MONTREAL — Alliance Atlantis Communications reported significant increases in both revenue and net earnings for the first quarter, largely thanks to a strong performance by its motion picture division.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Canadian entertainment company had revenues of C$163.3 million ($110 million), up 31% from the same period last year. (All results are presented on a pro forma combined basis, as if the merger of Alliance and Atlantis had taken place April 1, 1998. The two companies actually merged in September.)

Net earnings for the quarter were $4.8 million, up 50% from last year.

Revenue from the motion picture sector soared 62% to $41 million, primarily due to the boffo box-office performance of Alliance Atlantis release “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” in Canada and the delivery of three features. “Austin Powers” grossed $9.4 million in the quarter and its Canadian gross is approaching $13 million, making it the highest-grossing pic ever for Alliance Atlantis Releasing.

The pics delivered during the quarter were “The Five Senses,” “Felicia’s Journey” and “A Room for Romeo Brass.”

Theater chain Alliance Atlantis Cinemas in the first quarter contributed revenues of $1.2 million, which exceeded expectations.

Gross profit for the motion picture group was $6.9 million, up from $5.8 million a year earlier.

Alliance Atlantis’ TV revs were almost the same as last year at $46 million, compared with $45 million the previous year.

Revenues for the broadcasting group — which includes the company’s four Canuck specialty channels — increased 24% to $15 million thanks to higher subscriber revenues from all channels.

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