The privately held studio appears to have had a strong Q4: its financial results, delivered to debt-holders, are complicated by the acquisition in September of a 55% stake in United Artists Media Group (UAMG) — a joint venture with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and Hearst Productions. With that in the mix, MGM generated earnings of $41.7 million, up 241.2% vs the last three months of 2013, on revenues of $559.1 million, +20.6%.
MGM’s year-end report sheds little light on the quarter; it focuses on full year performance. MGM CEO Gary Barber also addresses the 12-month period in a company release. “The continued strength and performance of our new content as well as that of our library assets, across all platforms, further supported by strategic acquisitions and partnerships have helped MGM earn its highest annual profits in its modern history for the second consecutive year,” he says.
For the full year, MGM’s earnings were up 27.4% to $155.7 million although revenues fell 5.4% to $1.44 billion. It says that the top line declined because of the unusual strength in 2013 of home video sales for Skyfall and other films in the James Bond library.
Still, the bottom line for the full year benefited from “an increased number of new films across all distribution windows.” The list includes releases based on 21 Jump Street and The Hobbit while the television operation saw strong results from Vikings, Teen Wolf and Fargo.
MGM also liked the $22.7 million it collected from its 19.1% stake in EPIX, a joint venture with Viacom and Lionsgate.
As for UAMG, it generated $25.5 million in net income for the period from September 22 to the end of the year, which translated to $14.0 million for MGM. Execs expect the collaboratioon to have 13 TV programs this year including The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader, and A.D.: The Bible Continues.