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eOne aims to double size as profits grow

Walking Dead season 5Entertainment One has outlined a plan to double its size in the next five years, as its half-yearly results saw profits grow but revenues slip.

The plan was unveiled as Canada-based, UK-listed eOne reported unaudited profits before tax for the six months to September 30 of £2.4 million (US$3.75 million), up 100% on the £1.2 million posted for the same period the year before.

Darren_ThroopUnderlying group EBITDA was up 31% at £36.9 million, but group revenues were down 4% year-on-year, coming in at £330.5 million.

Investment in acquisitions and productions was also down from £167.3 million in 2013 and stood at £142.3 million, a 15% drop.

eOne Television, which sells shows such as The Walking Dead (pictured) and Peppa Pig, recorded good growth.

Revenues rose 20% to £86 million, and within this, television production and sales accounted for £46.1 million, a 7% drop year-on-year, with the family and licensing segment growing a massive 161% to bring in £31.3 million. Investment in acquired content was down 11%.

Despite the strength of the TV business, eOne’s film segment saw revenues fall 15%, though underlying EBITDA was up 15% to £24.1 million. It likely see an uptick when Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is released at the box office.

Meanwhile, eOne will look to double its size through partnering with creative talent and by being “the world’s leading independent distributor through a locally-deep, globally-connected network”, it said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

CEO Darren Throop (pictured) said: “With our four strategic pillars of film, television, family and digital and our focused strategy to achieve these ambitions we believe that we can double the size of Entertainment One in the next five years.”

The strategy was “to expand our television business in Canada further and to increase our production presence into the US, the UK and Australian markets”, he added.

eOne has acquired Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment this year, as it grows its Canadian production assets.

“We will achieve organic growth through the launch of a new development fund which is being made available to support early-stage projects with talented producers,” added Throop. “We will also pursue acquisitions which deliver premium product and provide the foundation on which to build a global network of relationships with the best creative talent in the industry.”