Net profit for the year came to £7.8 million ($9.5 million), a result the company’s directors said they were “very satisfied with,” although the financial report notes that gross profit margin dropped from 29% to 19% compared to the previous year.
The decrease in gross profit margin was put down to “a change in mix of income from the previous year, with proportionately less income arising from redistributions, and more income arising from development and production activity.”
The accounts, which cover the year ending March 31, 2022, were filed with the registrar at Companies House in December 2022.
As required by Companies House, the financial report also addresses the current risks in the market, with Hartswood defining them as “the increased pressure to find available studios and talent; pressure from commissioners and audience expectation driving budgets ever higher without increased available finance, particularly out of the U.S. market, difficulties keeping valuable in-house talent.”
The report goes on to say that because the directors are aware of these risks, they are already planning for them in the following ways: by developing “sophisticated planning and production development systems to ensure that the group’s programmes are of the best quality and on budget; [working] hard to develop close associations with top and emerging talent and relationships with broadcasters and buyers who will develop and invest in the company’s programmes; [keeping] fully up to date with current trends and [working] hard to ensure that the production budgets are accurately forecasted, and productions efficiently run thereby mitigating these risks as far as possible.”
Hartswood was founded in 1979 by producer Beryl Vertue, who died last year at the age of 90. The company remains in family hands, with Vertue’s daughters Sue and Debbie Vertue now running Hartswood. They are also directors of the company alongside commercial director Dan Cheesbrough and “Sherlock” writer Steven Moffatt.
As well as the BBC’s “Sherlock,” which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the company is known for shows including Prime Video’s “The Devil’s Hour” and HBO’s “The Time Traveller’s Wife.”