×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vice Swings to Profit in the U.K., Eyes International Partnerships

After a tumultuous period involving harassment scandals, job losses and restructuring, Vice has registered a small profit in the U.K., according to the company’s latest results. The uptick is welcome news for Vice as its new international boss, Dominique Delport, scopes out new production and partnership possibilities for the company’s content business.

The U.K. was the first territory of Vice’s expansion outside the U.S. and remains the company’s single largest international market as well as a hub for the EMEA region. Vice’s U.K. arm reported revenue of £103 million ($130 million) for 2017, compared to £92 million a year earlier, and reversed a £7.6 million loss in 2016 to eke out a £200,000 profit. The digital and creative agency work was Vice’s single biggest earner, generating revenue of £25.7 million and an EBIDTA profit of £2.5 million.

Delport joined Vice earlier this year from Vivendi as president of international and chief revenue officer. He acknowledged that the business had gone through a challenging period but said the U.K. numbers offered a positive sign for how the business can develop.

“They give a great explanation of how Vice is evolving, how Vice has diversified, and how Vice is on the way to profitability,” he told Variety. “That narrative may not fit into what we have heard around Vice as we have had quite a tough time.”

He said he wants to get rid of siloed activity at Vice as it sets out to become a global content studio.

“There is quite a radical shift in the way the business now is executed and operated at scale,” Delport said, “and you can see that with an entity like Vice in the U.K., which reached the £100 million [revenues] level and is very balanced in three of our main businesses: the traditional digital business, the TV business that is growing, and studio/production business.”

A damaging New York Times story about an abusive culture at Vice reverberated internationally, with new execs installed and new workplace guidelines put in place. The company has undergone wholesale management changes, with Nancy Dubuc joining as CEO and Delport at the helm of international. As in the U.S., the U.K. team has seen layoffs and new senior hires. Last month, Disney wrote down its stake in the firm.

Vice Studios launched in the U.K. in 2017 and brought in £2.9 million in revenue, turning a profit of £200,000. In line with Delport’s mission to build partnerships, Vice Studios has started winning commissions from third parties in the U.K., making “Britain’s Cocaine Epidemic” for Channel 5, the upcoming documentary about Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses,” and a game-show format for UKTV called “Beat the Internet.”

Delport said there would be more and deeper partnerships in the future, notably with the traditional TV players as they looks to build Generation Z audiences. This year, Vice struck a 900-hour content deal with Britain’s Channel 4 and also has deals with Hulu in the U.S., Bell Media in Canada and, more recently, Hooq in Asia. A Chinese deal is in the offing for early next year.

TV, film and advertising studio Pulse Films, which is owned by Vice, posted a £1.4 million loss on revenues of £41.8 million. But with projects including the £50 million Sky and Cinemax series “Gangs of London” coming through, the unit is thought to be close to profitability.

Vice runs a daily news show on HBO in the U.S., and news is another likely area of international expansion. “We want to develop news, we have discussion with partners,” Delport said. “We will keep chasing opportunity to extend the Vice news platform in Europe, in Asia, and the rest of the world because we feel it is a very strong pillar for us.”

More TV

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content