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Entertainment One is a leading independent entertainment content owner that acquires film, television and music rights and exploits these rights in all media in more than 190 countries.
The company currently operates in Canada, the U.S., the UK, Holland and Belgium through its four primary businesses units: E1 Television, E1...Read more
RNS Release - Pre-Close Trading Update
Date: 29 September
On behalf of: Entertainment One Ltd. ("the Company" or "the Group")
Embargoed until: 0700hrs
Entertainment One Ltd.
Pre-Close Trading Update
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO), the international entertainment group, is pleased to provide an update on trading for the six months ended 30 September 2011 prior to entering its closed period. The Company will announce its interim results on 14 November 2011.
· EBITDA expected to be significantly ahead of prior year
· Film benefiting from increased investment in content and improved margins supported by long term output agreements including recent LOVEFiLM deal
· Television network shows selling well internationally and production of new programming progressing in line with expectations
· Peppa Pig US viewer ratings continue to grow following move to daily slot on Nick Jr.
· Independent library valuation increased by 40% to over $350 million
· Strategic review ongoing
Revenue in the first half is expected to be in line with the prior year with strong trading in the Entertainment division offsetting lower sales in Distribution. This performance is especially pleasing given that the first half in the prior year benefited from the theatrical release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The fourth film in the series The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 will be released in November this year.
As a result of the continued strong trading the group expects its first half earnings to be significantly ahead of prior year and in line with management forecasts driven by a particularly strong performance in the Film business.
The strategic review announced on 14 September 2011 is ongoing. The Board will update the market in due course.
The Film business released over 70 movies theatrically compared to 63 in the first half last year. Highlights were the release of Source Code theatrically and on home video (Canada and Australia) and Gnomeo & Juliet on home video (UK and Canada). Other popular releases across the Group's territories included Scream 4, Killer Elite, 50/50, Dreamhouse and The Whistleblower. The first half will also benefit from the first roster of movies being made available to LOVEFiLM in the UK following the exclusive agreement signed in July.
The second half slate includes the forthcoming releases of action movie The Three Musketeers, George Clooney's political thriller Ides of March, the adaptation of John le Carré's classic novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and the thriller Man on a Ledge in addition to The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn: Part 1.
Following the acquisition of Hopscotch in May the integration is already delivering benefits including the extension of the existing output deal with Lakeshore to cover Australia in addition to Canada and an increased release slate following additional film acquisitions. Further benefits are expected to be realised over the coming months.
The Company has also recently announced its intention to expand its US Film business and has appointed a dedicated management team to implement this initiative.
Television is expected to deliver over 70 half hours of original programming compared to 115 in the first half last year, but with full year deliveries expected to be greater than last year. Production has finished on the eagerly anticipated new AMC historical drama Hell on Wheels and the second season of sci-fi show Haven while filming has commenced on a number of shows including the third season of comedy Hung, the first episodes of The Firm, and seasons three of both Rookie Blue and Call Me Fitz.
In eOne Family, Peppa Pig viewing figures in the US continue to grow following the move to daily broadcast on Nick Jr. in June. In addition to the exclusive toy partnership announced with Fisher-Price in May, negotiations are now underway to extend the programme with other leading US licensors in clothing, books, magazines and home entertainment. Good progress is also being made with the rolling out of licensing programmes internationally in Europe, Australia and the Far East.
Licensing sales for Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom also grew strongly as the footprint of the brand continues to expand following its launch in the first half last year.
Revenues in the distribution business were lower than the prior year predominantly due to fewer blockbuster theatrical releases flowing through to home entertainment in the first half. This performance is in line with management expectations.
The Company has recently finalised its annual independent library valuation, valuing its Film, Television and Music library in excess of $350 million at 31 March 2011, up 40% from $250 million at 31 March 2010.
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Notes to Editors:
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company's comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, kids programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 20,000 film and television titles, 2,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
This information is provided by RNS