Nelvana strategy hits gold

Cartoon co nets $3.4 mil in earnings for '97, up 34% for fiscal '96

TORONTO — If Nelvana’s fourth-quarter and year-end results are anything to go by, the animation company’s strategic shift to increased inhouse animation and away from third-party service work appears to be paying off.

Net earnings for the year ended Dec. 31 were C$4.9 million ($3.4 million, 61¢ per share), a 34% increase from the $2.61 million (50¢ per share) in fiscal 1996.

The net profit margin increased to 9%, compared with 6% in ’96. There was a 9% reduction in total revenue to $39.6 million, compared with $43.8 million for 1996.

For the fourth quarter, net earnings were $2.26 million (39¢ per share), up 22% from $1.84 million (35¢) for the fourth quarter of 1996. Total revenue decreased 7% to $16.5 million from $17.7 million in the prior year. The decrease reflects an 82% decline in production services revenue and was partially offset by an 87% increase in production and distribution revenue.

The company announced its decision to focus exclusively on proprietary production in April, and for the year, proprietary production deliveries were up 68%, to 116 half hour episodes, while service deliveries dropped to 18, down sharply from 69 in 1996.

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