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eOne has ‘firepower’ to double size as TV booms

Significant profit growth at Entertainment One’s television division is helping the indie studio to achieve its goal of doubling in size by 2020, its CEO has said.

Darren_ThroopUnaudited half-year results showed television production and sales revenues were up 77% year-on-year to £81.6 million (US$124.1 million), with its Peppa Pig family and licensing unit bringing in £32.7 million and 51%-owned prodco The Mark Gordon Company taking £7.9 million.

Overall eOne Television brought in £140.3 million, which is up 46% year-on-year, and produced or acquired 442 new hours of programming. This offset lower revenues at eOne’s film unit.

eOne has pledged to double its size through organic growth and acquisitions by 2020, and this year has acquired a controlling stake in Grey’s Anatomy producer Mark Gordon and grew its ownership share Astley Baker Davies to 70%, which effectively gives it 85% control of Peppa Pig.

“The first half of the financial year has seen very strong growth in eOne’s television business and this has supported a robust set of results at the Group level, despite lower activity in the period for the film business,” said eOne CEO Darren Throop.

“The group’s profitability has improved significantly, with our broad portfolio of entertainment assets continuing to protect the bottom line against the cyclical nature of the market.”

Throop said that having completed a £201 million rights issue, “we now enter the second half of the year with a positive outlook and the firepower to reach our target of doubling the size of the group”.

Overall unaudited group revenues were up 43% to £52 million on revenues of £337.1 million.

The company said its content library was now worth more than US$1 billion, with further upside from the Peppa Pig deal expected to follow.