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Iwerks posts higher revs, trims loss for fiscal year

Ride co. sees 29% jump to $8.4 mil in 4th qtr

Iwerks Entertainment posted a 29% boost in fourth-quarter revenues to $8.4 million, but a net loss of $2.6 million, the company said Wednesday.

The Burbank-based company, which creates large-format ride-simulations, attributed $1 million in losses during the quarter to the termination of a new “California Soaring” ride project for Disneyland, which ended up in the hands of rival Imax.

Iwerks had already installed the screen and sound system. Disney shot the film, in which riders feel as if they are hang-gliding over California. Iwerks couldn’t deliver the technology to make the system work, and as a result, Disney pulled the contract and gave it to Imax.

The quarter loss mirrors the $2.5 million net loss Iwerks posted a year ago.

The quarter, which ended June 30, also ends Iwerks’ fiscal year, for which it reported $35 million in revenues, a gain of 39%, and an annual net loss of $4.8 million. It reported a loss of $12 million in fiscal 1998.

During the quarter, Iwerks inked an agreement with Camber Entertainment to distribute a portion of Iwerks’ film library to Camber’s network of 70 ride-simulation theaters, increasing the company’s film licensing revenue opportunities.

Additionally, Iwerks has inked a long-term agreement with gamemaker Infogrames to develop ride-simulation, large-format and theme park attraction films based on Infogrames’ library of popular PC and vidgame titles.

Iwerks operates more than 250 Iwerks attractions in 38 countries.

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