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Throop: TV, Family staying strong for eOne

The CEO of Canada-based Entertainment One, Darren Throop, has lauded the performance of the studio’s television and family divisions, as the film unit continues to drag on company financial results.

Darren_ThroopeOne yesterday posted a trading update for the nine months to December 31, 2015, saying revenues were down 3% year-on-year, mainly due to a 14% drop in movie sales.

Television revenue, on the other hand, was up 39%, with a 15% uptick on underlying group EBITDA attributed to “strong performance in television” and acquisitions such as the majority takeover of Peppa Pig producer Astley Baker Davies. The earnings growth was “partly offset by weaker film trading”.

“The group continues to deliver very strong growth across its television division – with both eOne Television Studios [fka eOne Production and Sales] and the Family businesses performing well in the period,” said Throop.

“Whilst the film division continues to experience trading challenges, its restructuring and the exciting committed film release slate for the next financial year provide a positive outlook for film.”

eOne sells AMC zombie drama The Walking Dead and futuristic martial arts thriller Into the Badlands, and produces shows such as the upcoming Audience Network and HBO Canada comedy You Me Her, CTV dramas Private Eyes, Saving Hope and Cardinal among others.

The trading update revealed discussions with major US broadcasters over E4 drama Foreign Bodies and Sky Living’s The Enfield Haunting were at “an advanced stage”.

London Stock Exchange-listed eOne’s adjusted net debt stood at £209 million (US$291.9 million) at end-2015, lower than £225 million posted on March 31 “mainly due to the excess proceeds from the company’s £200 million rights issue”, which completed in October.

This comes after eOne, which plans to double in size by 2020, refinanced several of its credit facilities with £285 million in new senior secured notes.

The announcement of the refinancing agreement had initially caused the firm’s share price to nose-dive.