Alibaba Pictures Group, the movie division of Chinese e-commerce giant, has warned that full year losses would reach up to HK$600 million (US$77.4 million). It also revealed that actress Vicky Zhao has bought a substantial stake in the unit.
In a regulatory filing, the company said that the losses, which incorporate the previously reported HK$393 million half year losses, also reflect other problems. These include a delay in distribution of certain TV drama series which had been scheduled for distribution in 2014; cancellation and delay of movies which were scheduled for production and distribution in 2014; declining magazine advertising and distribution revenues, and personnel changes in the operation team.
Zhao (aka Zhao Wei) acquired a 9.18% stake in the company in December, through Gold Ocean Media, an investment company she owns with her husband. Singer actress, Zhao is one of the most popular and enduring stars in Hong Kong and China, with acting credits that include “Shaolin Soccer,” “Red Cliff,” and the two “Painted Skin” franchise movies. Last year she enjoyed further success with her feature directing debut “So Young.”
Last week Alibaba Pictures said that it would change its auditors from Deloitte Touche Tomatsu to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Many of the losses disclosed at the interim results were attributed to the period before the company, then known as ChinaVision, was acquired by Alibaba.