Revs up 22% as U.S. productions return

U.K. studio group Pinewood Shepperton has announced revenues up 22% to £40.7 million ($80 million) for 2006.

Net profit, which fell 91% to $730,000 in 2005 as uncertainty over U.K. tax incentives hit film production, came in at a healthy $11.8 million, according to a preliminary results statement released Tuesday.

“As anticipated, a number of significant film customers returned to Pinewood Shepperton during 2006,” said studio topper Ivan Dunleavy.

Film revs grew by 25% to $44 million. Productions using the group’s studios included “Casino Royale,” “His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass,” “Fred Claus,” “Inkheart” and “Stardust.”

The group noted that 27 productions, hailing mainly from Hollywood, shot in the U.K. in 2006 with combined budgets of $1.1 billion vs. 25 pics costing $612 million in 2005.

Dunleavy added that the studio had diversified further into television, upping revs in that sector 32% to £11.8 million ($23 million). “This increasingly will help to mitigate the effects of more volatile film revenues,” he said.

The group’s digital studios hosted shows including “The Weakest Link” while TV productions including “Extras” shot on the film stages.

In other news, the studio said its 007 stage, ravaged by fire last July, is now fully operational after a $15 million refurbishment.

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