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U.K. tax credit lifts Pinewood

Film revenue rises 9%

LONDON — Studios group Pinewood Shepperton is reaping the benefits of Blighty’s film tax credit, which came into force at the beginning of the year. Revenue from film was £10.8 million ($21.8 million) in the first half of this year, up 9% from $20 million a year earlier, the company reported Tuesday.

Among pics using the company’s studios were “Sweeney Todd,” “The Golden Compass,” “Inkheart,” “Fred Claus” and “Mamma Mia!”

Pinewood’s 007 stage, which burned to the ground last year, cost $10.5 million to rebuild.

Film revenue is likely to be flat for the full year due to delays on a number of major productions that are now likely to shoot at the studios in 2008. The threat of strikes in Hollywood is adding to the uncertainty.

Faced with the volatility of the film business, the company is continuing to diversify into TV production. It has invested in facilities at Teddington Studios, including the provision of HD cameras. This effort has helped attract new clients, including Shed Prods., Twofour Broadcast and Phil Macintyre Prods.

Pinewood Shepperton is pushing to expand its post-production and commercials business as well and is developing its media park.

Production delays hit TV revenue, which stood at $9.5 million in the first half of this year, down from $11.1 million a year earlier.

A volume deal with the BBC is about to kick in, and recent promises by U.K. broadcasters to step up local production has prompted Pinewood Shepperton to predict that TV revenue for the year will be up on 2006.

Company also said it would be making a bid for BBC Resources, which provides production facilities to the pubcaster.

Total revenue for Pinewood Shepperton dipped to $36.9 million in the first half this year from $37.7 million a year earlier. Operating profit was flat at $7.3 million. Operating profit (before interest and tax) was $10.3 million vs. $10.7 million in 2006.

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