LONDON — Canada-based film and TV group Entertainment One reported Tuesday that its revenues for the financial year ended March 31 rose 2% to £803 million ($1.17 billion), driven by a strong performance from its television and family content, but offset by weaker film figures. Underlying EBITDA was up 20% to £129 million ($188 million).
Strong organic growth fueled a 27% increase in revenues in the television division to £188 million ($274 million). The company acquired or produced 998 half hours of new programming over the year, up from 752 half hours the previous year. The Mark Gordon Company, which eOne acquired in January 2015, has boosted the group’s TV results. Mark Gordon has five series airing on U.S. network and premium cable, and two new series in production for major U.S. networks for first seasons, and almost 60 projects in development.
The acquisition of Astley Baker Davies, producers of “Peppa Pig,” in October 2015 helped lift the family division, which reported revenues up 10% to £67 million ($97.8 million). The delivery of a new series of “Peppa Pig” in July will further drive growth. New show “PJ Masks” has “surpassed our expectations on the Disney channels,” said chief executive Darren Throop. The show took an average audience share of 29% of 2-5 year olds on Disney Channel and Disney Junior in the U.S.
Film revenues dropped 7% to £553 million ($807 million), with 210 theatrical releases compared with 227 in the prior year. Throop has “positive expectations” for the new financial year. A strong slate of films is expected to deliver around 220 theatrical releases, led by “The BFG,” the first film from eOne’s new partnership with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, and “David Brent: Life on the Road,” starring Ricky Gervais, from the team behind the hit series “The Office.”