StockMarketWire.com - Entertainment One said continued growth in its family & brand segment, led by Peppa Pig cartoon series had bolstered annual performance as the company continues its transition to distributing to producing content.

'Entertainment One has delivered a solid performance for the year, driven by strong momentum in Television, continued growth in Family & Brands and with the restructuring of Film having a beneficial impact on the slate and margins,' said Darren Throop, Chief Executive.

Reported revenue and underlying earnings (EBITDA) in its Family & Brands segment was up by over 25% for the year, compared to the prior year period as Peppa Pig continued its strong performance in markets around the world, generating multiple revenues outside its licensing and merchandising businesses.

In China, revenues increased by 50% driven predominately by Peppa Pig through robust SVOD sales and the 71 live licensing and merchandising contracts in the market.

'The theatrical release of Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year in January 2019 generated a high level of social media buzz globally and drove strong brand awareness across the territory,' the company said.

PJ Masks continued its momentum across its markets achieving year on year growth of over 40%.

Momentum in television had been strong throughout the year, with over 1,000 half hours of produced and acquired content delivered in 2019, in line with previous guidance and over 20% higher than in 2018.

The pivot toward production and away from third-party distribution saw fewer, but more profitable films which had improved underlying EBITDA margins, the company said.

Average revenue per release increased by 44% despite box office revenues being broadly flat at US$200.7m in the year.

'The total number of unique titles is anticipated to be 57 for FY19, down from 85 in the prior year; this is expected to decrease further over the coming years as we aim towards a run-rate of 35-40 unique titles per annum,' the company added.

'The outlook for the Group's underlying financial performance for FY19 is in line with management expectations, with net debt at the year-end of approximately 1.8x underlying EBITDA.'




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