MDP shines at home

TV library sales help increase revs

Motion Picture Distribution, an income trust controlled by Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis Communications, posted fourth-quarter and year-end numbers Wednesday that shined.

For the year ended Dec. 31, strong TV library sales in Canada and a well-performing DVD slate in the U.K. helped bring revenue up 4% to C$449 million ($387 million) and fattened the bottom line to the tune of $36.9 million, up from $24.7 million the previous year, thanks in part to foreign exchange gains.

Entity announced in January that its parent, Alliance Atlantis Communications, has inked a $1.98 billion deal for its sale to Goldman Sachs and CanWest Global Communications, pending regulatory approvals. MPD is something of an orphan in that arrangement, which CanWest entered into for AAC’s broadcasting assets and Goldman Sachs, reportedly, for the company’s 50% interest in “CSI.”

Company posted $15.5 million net income for the quarter, up from $12.2 million for the same period the previous year. Revenue climbed 21% to $119.2 million. Of that, Canadian revenue was up 31% to $56.5 million, thanks primarily to a strong set of DVD releases, including “Bon Cop, Bad Cop,” “Clerks II” and “Fearless.”

U.K. revenue was up slightly at $31.6 million, while revenue in Spain was up 21% to $13.4 million. Net debt was pared down to $69.2 million from $73.1 million in the third quarter.

In 2007 the theatrical release slate includes “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Rush Hour 3,” “The Golden Compass,” and “Hairspray.” Theatrical releases in the U.K. include “Miss Potter,” “The Painted Veil” and “The Illusionist,” and in Spain, “Apocalypto” is expected to hit the bigscreen, along with “The Messengers” and “The Grudge 2.”

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