Entertainment One’s full-year results for 2017-18 show that revenues for the group’s family division rose by 56% to £139m, boosted by the continued success of the Peppa Pig franchise and that of other family animations such as superhero cartoon PJ Masks.
Group profit before tax doubled to £78m, the company said, while pre-tax profits climbed 11% to £144m. The company said it is on track to double the size of the business over the next five years.
Flagship show Peppa Pig continued to drive growth, especially in China, where more than 40m books have been sold since its launch in the country in April 2016. The company now has 43 licensing agreements for the franchise in the territory and two Peppa Pig-themed attractions are due to open in the market in 2018 and 2019.
However, total revenues for the FTSE 250 company slipped 4% to £1.05B, down from £1.08B the previous year, as strong growth in family content and its core TV business were countered by a more meagre performance in film.
Movie revenues slipped considerably, decreasing 32% year-on-year to £402.2m, with EBIDTA profit falling by a third to £35.1m. Theatrical, home entertainment, production and sales all slumped, which eOne blamed on having fewer releases and lower-profile product than in the previous year. 2017-18 movies included Molly’s Game and select territories on The Post. In 2019, eOne will release movies including Captive State, The House With a Clock In Its Walls and Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk.
Shares in eOne have fallen 11% so far this year after climbing 41% in 2017. After a strong start to the year, the group said that closures for high street retailer Toys R Us would likely impact its sales in the short term, and ABC’s termination of show Designated Survivor could have a small effect on earnings for 2018-19.
An ongoing restructuring saved £10m in the year, the company said. The firm has combined its film, TV, and digital operations and integrated the The Mark Gordon Co. into operations, which the company hopes will save a further £13m-£15m by eOne’s 2020 financial year. eOne’s library was valued at US$1.7B at 31 March 2017.
“It has been a strong year for the group, as we combined our film and television operations into the film, television and digital division for FY19, completed the acquisition of the remaining stake in The Mark Gordon Company and continued the reshaping of our film business,” said Chief Executive Darren Throop. “All of these initiatives sharpen our operational focus and facilitate success in today’s evolving entertainment market.”