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China’s Bona Film Returns To Profit

HONG KONG — NASDAQ-listed Chinese studio Bona Film Group returned to profits in 2013 with net income of $5.7 million, compared to a loss of $1.3 million.

The bounce back came as full year net revenues edged ahead from $142 million in 2012 to $149 million.

Bona released 14 films last year including “The White Storm” (pictured), and earned approximately RMB1.3 billion of gross box office, or 10% of China’s national total for domestic films.

Already in 2014 it has released import “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” and HK-Chinese co-production “The Man From Macau,” which was released at Chinese New Year and has grossed over RMB500 million.

For the current year the company has applied to handle revenue-sharing releases of quota import films “Pompeii,” and “Nonstop.”

Group COO Jeffrey Chan said that Bona had restructured its domestic distribution operations at the end of 2013, with the addition of three new regional offices in North East, Central and South Eastern China. “This will enable us to eliminate some of the blind spots in our coverage, enable us to operate better in increasingly important second and third tier cities and leverage our network of theaters,” he said.

“We are pleased with the progress we made in our theater segment in 2013 as our greenfield theaters matured and delivered solid results,” said Bona’s founder, chairman and CEO Yu Dong. By the end of 2014 Bona operated 22 owned multiplexes, with a total of 182 screens. Yu said that they delivered a 47% growth in revenue and that he expects to open a further 6 to 8 new complexes.

Upcoming films added to the production slate include “Sword Master” to be directed by Derek Yee and produced by Tsui Hark. It will be presented as a 3D theatrical movie and as a TV series.

Guidance for the first quarter of 2014 pointed to non-GAAP net profits of US1-$1.5 million.

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