India Film Co. makes $4.54 million

'Jab,' 'Welcome' drives profit

HONG KONG — The Indian Film Company, a production and distribution shingle backed by Viacom and India’s Studio 18, achieved gross profits of £2.27 million ($4.54 million) in its first year of listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Although at the time of flotation on London’s Alternative Investment Market in June, the start-up company did not expect year one profitability, it hit B.O. home runs with both the films it released in the period — romantic comedy “Jab We Met” and all-star comedy “Welcome.”

In the year to March, it achieved pre-tax profits of $4.54 million and net profits of $3.92 million on revenues of $22.9 million.

TIFC said it has scored too by finding new revenue streams for its movies, through licensing in international territories and sophisticated syndication in India’s ancillary markets.

Repeating the performance in coming years will be dependent on the strength of TIFC slate, company’s position in the increasingly tight race for talent and TIFC’s ability to find new revenue streams for its movies, through licensing.

“Since listing, the company has successfully built a strong portfolio of films and has developed its distribution model across new revenue models and geographies to increase revenue streams,” Sandeep Bhargava, CEO of TIFC’s advisory company, said.

Slate will increasingly tip away from acquired product and lean toward co-productions and its own productions. Company now has a slate of five productions, 14 co-production agreements and seven acquisitions, and expects to release 12 pics in the current financial year. At the end of March, it had invested $72.6 million of the $110 million coin raised at flotation and had $38.7 million of cash on the balance sheet. Chairman Shyam Benegal said the balance will be invested by the end of December.

Among recent additions was an official remake of “The Italian Job,” which it licensed from Paramount. Pic is to be helmed by the directing duo Abbas Mustan, whose recent hit “Race” was one of many movies the pair has made “inspired by” other U.S. works.

“Jab We Met,” released in October, reinvigorated the career of Kareena Kapoor and grossed $13 million at the Indian and international box offices. “Welcome” notched the third highest opening of all time in India and with a worldwide gross of $36 million claims to be the third biggest Indian film of all time.

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