Pinewood Shepperton Unveils Strong Results

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After a tough year in 2010, Pinewood Shepperton has bounced back in 2011, revealing a steep rise in revenue and operating profit for the six months ended 30 June 2011. According to the company, revenue was up to £26.1m from £19m for the same period last year, while operating profit before exceptional items was £6.6m (2010: £2.9m).

Commenting on the results, CEO Ivan Dunleavy: "The first half of the year has delivered a positive performance across the business with good demand from big budget films and large scale TV productions. Despite the economic uncertainties, the Company is performing strongly. Trading since the 30 June has been buoyant and is expected to continue to perform well for the year as a whole. Investment in infrastructure to support growth is ongoing and we look to the future with confidence".

In terms of the detail behind the headline numbers: Pinewood Shepperton said film revenues for the period in question were £18.2m (2010: £10.8m), an increase of 68%.  Despite the increasingly competitive international market and the number of films which commenced principal photography in the UK during the period being the lowest first half figures since records began in 2003, Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios were both busy during the first half of 2011.  The largest film production based at Pinewood Studios during the period was Dark Shadows (Warner Bros) and the largest production based at Shepperton Studios was Wrath of the Titans (Warner Bros).  Other productions that used Pinewood Shepperton facilities included The Iron Lady (DJ Films/Pathé), Gravity (Warner Bros), Woman in Black (Hammer Films), 47 Ronin (Universal) and Prometheus (Fox).

The Company generated digital content services revenues of £3.2m (2010: £3.0m), adding that: “The development of a digital restoration, preservation and archive facility has ensured the Company continues to invest in its digital infrastructure for the benefit of its film and TV productions, developers of computer games and tenants.  The Company also provides international language versions to a wide range of productions.”

Strong film performances masked a decline in the company’s TV revenues – down to £4.7m from £5.1m. Explaining this figure, Pinewood Shepperton said: “The Company was unable to meet all the television demand at Pinewood Studios as its facilities were extensively used by film productions.”

Among titles it did host were Lee Mack's All Star Cast, Would I Lie to You (both Zeppotron), The Rob Brydon Show (Talkback Thames), Piers Morgan's Life Stories (ITV) and Dick & Dom (BBC). One large stage at Pinewood hosted Sky's live talent show Got to Dance with an audience of 1100. Dancing on Ice (ITV) occupied two of the stages at Shepperton.

Pinewood also updated on its international initiatives, which it says are “progressing well”. Revenues during the period of £0.4m (2010: £0.3m) are “in line with company expectations”.

During the period 'Pinewood Toronto Studios' attracted high profile film and television productions which included Total Recall (Sony Pictures) and Still Seas (Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros).  The joint venture 'Pinewood Studio Berlin Film Services' is on track to host its first production later this year.