EXCLUSIVE: Simon Cowell’s production outfit Syco Entertainment has said that it does not expect to be “materially impacted” by Covid-19, despite disruption to some of its biggest shows this year following the outbreak of the disease.
In its earnings for the 18 months to the end of September 2019, the company acknowledged that coronavirus has “impacted some production times” of shows — such as the months-long delay to the finals of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent — but it expects its earnings to be largely unharmed.
The confident tone came as Syco’s revenue rose 74% to £65.6M ($83.3M), while the company’s pre-tax profits surged 76% to £42.7M. The huge gains are likely to be a result of Syco extending its accounting period for six months, rather than a material new revenue stream. Syco’s directors did not draw a dividend from the business last year after a dividend of £35.1M was approved in 2018.
A third of Syco’s revenue, or £21.7M, was derived from the U.S., where it produced Season 14 of America’s Got Talent for NBC last year. The UK still represents Syco’s biggest territory, with revenue hitting £27.6M in the 18 months to September, per a filing at Companies House. Syco signed a five-year deal with ITV last year for more Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.
“Prospects for further growth in production of these formats across the world continue to be strong with additional territories forecast to launch in the next 12 months,” Syco said of its entertainment juggernauts.
Cowell is currently recovering after breaking his back in an electric bike accident last month. In July, the music and entertainment mogul agreed to take full control of Syco after buying out Sony Music Entertainment’s stake in the joint venture. Cowell personally bought out the stake, giving him sole ownership of the entertainment company.