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TV and ‘Peppa Pig’ Boost eOne’s Results, but Film Revenue Slumps

Healthy increases in TV and family revenues and profit at independent studio eOne helped offset sharp reverses in its film business in the last financial year, which closed at the end of March, the company said Tuesday.

“It has been a strong year for the group, as we combined our film and television operations into the film, television and digital division for FY19, completed the acquisition of the remaining stake in The Mark Gordon Co. and continued the reshaping of our film business,” eOne CEO Darren Throop said.

Overall revenues were 4% lower at £1.04 billion. EBIDTA profit of £177.3 million was spurred by the strong performance of the TV and family divisions.

In the family content business, “Peppa Pig” continues to be a powerhouse, and another animated series, “PJ Masks,” is gaining traction. There are eight new projects in the works, eOne said, reporting family revenue of £138.6 million, a 56% increase year-on-year, and EBIDTA profit of £82.3 million, a 48% uptick.

In TV, eOne’s upcoming shows include Nathan Fillion’s “The Rookie,” a straight-to-series order for ABC. The company reported TV revenue of £539 million, up 19%, and EBITDA of £72 million, an increase of 15%.

But film revenues suffered a substantial drop, decreasing 32% year-on-year to £402.2 million, with EBIDTA profit falling by a third to £35.1 million. The company had titles such as “Molly’s Game” (pictured), but theatrical, home entertainment, production and sales all took a hit, which eOne blamed on having a smaller number of releases and lower-profile titles than in the previous year. In FY19, eOne will have 140 films released, including “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” and Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

“The reshaping of the film businesses is progressing well as we focus increasingly on our production activities with important partners such as Steven Spielberg and Brad Weston,” Throop said. “This transition will enable us to improve the return on investment in film content and at the same time reduce risks across the business.”

An ongoing restructuring saved £10 million in the year. The company has combined its film, TV, and digital operations, and will no longer break out results for each individually in the future. It is also integrating The Mark Gordon Co. into its operations, which is expected to save £13 million to £15 million by eOne’s 2020 financial year.

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