Banijay Rights, the juggernaut behind shows including “Starstruck,” has posted revenues of £102.1 million ($130 million) in its latest U.K. accounts – double the previous year’s revenues of $66.5 million.
The company also posted post-tax profits of $9.7 million, more than triple that of the previous year’s, which amounted to $2.6 million.
The figures were disclosed in the latest filings for Banijay Rights Limited, the U.K.-based international distribution and rights exploitation arm of Banijay Entertainment SAS, its French parent company. The accounts, which cover a 12-month period up to 31 Dec. 2020, were filed on Tuesday at the U.K.’s company registrar, Companies House.
(Companies House allows up to an 18-month time lag between a company’s financial year-end and the filing of its accounts for that year, although it is believed Banijay Rights Limited was also late in filing its accounts.)
The report for 2020 shows almost 50% of the company’s revenue came from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which totalled approx. $54 million, followed by the U.K. ($29 million), the U.S. ($22.3 million), Australia and New Zealand ($17 million), Latin America ($7.9 million) and the rest of the world ($3 million).
Despite the stellar numbers, the report cited a number of challenges for the U.K. television industry, including Brexit, the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shifting landscape for broadcasters.
“The international market for television programs and media content continues to be challenging in key territories as broadcasters reduce expenditure and competition intensifies,” the report noted.
The report also said that while the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union has been finalized, “it is still considered early to fully evaluate all of the potentiation implications [of Brexit] on the Company’s business and wider economy.”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 “has led to a further commercial risk to the Company” and, in addition, a cyber-attack in November 2020 also impacted the business.
“During the year, the Company was subject to a ransomware cyber-attack where there was reason to believe certain personal data of current and ex-employees was compromised, including commercially sensitive information,” the report confirmed. “No loss of financial data occurred.”
“Following this, the group has strengthened controls and has applied increased security levels to IT systems and provided comprehensive training to all employees so that they remain vigilant to further attacks. Despite these robust steps taken, the risk remains that the Company could be subject to further cyber-attacks, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and aimed at causing business disruption, capture of data for financial gain and repetitional damage.”
According to the report, other risks include the loss of key management figures and the company has been actively engaged in succession planning to mitigate this.
“[There is a] risk that the Company cannot implement its strategies and meet objectives as a result of key management leaving the business who cannot be readily replaced by equally experienced/qualified candidates,” the report warns. “The Company has implemented succession planning with plans being reviewed and updated regularly for all key positions and individuals.”
The report also covers the acquisition of Endemol Shine, which Banijay purchased in a $2.2 billion deal in July 2020. According to the report, an internal restructure following the acquisition cost around $2 million.