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Pinewood Shepperton studios’ profits boosted by blockbuster movies

Studios boosted by Clash of the Titans 2 and TV shows such as ITV’s Dancing on Ice and Sky1′s Got to Dance

Pinewood Shepperton studios has reported double-digit boosts to revenue and operating profit thanks to Clash of the Titans 2 and big TV shows such as ITV’s Dancing on Ice and Sky1′s Got to Dance.

Pinewood Shepperton reported a 37% year-on-year increase in total revenue to £26m in the six months to 30 June. Operating profits before exceptional items surged 127% to £6.6m.

The company said it has decided not to pay an interim dividend due to a £4m exceptional cost relating to the offer for the business made by Pinewood’s largest-shareholder Peel Holdings, the commercial property group which leased part of Salford’s MediaCityUK site to the BBC. Peel controls 71% of the company and Warren James Holdings owns 27%.

After taking the exceptional charge into account Pinewood’s operating profit dipped slightly year on year to £3.2m, the studio said on Wednesday.

While profit before tax also dipped slightly to £1.5m, Ivan Dunleavy, the Pinewood chief executive, said the company is “performing strongly” and trading since June has continued to be “buoyant”.

“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,” he said. “Trading since 30 June has been buoyant and is expected to continue to perform well for the year as a whole.”

Revenues at Pinewood’s film division grew 68% to £18.2m in the first half, despite the number of films which commenced principal photography in the UK during the first half is the lowest since records began in 2003.

Big screen productions include Warner Bros’ Dark Shadows at Pinewood and Clash of the Titans sequel, Wrath of the Titans, at Shepperton.

Pinewood, which has not put money into a feature film since 1988′s Hawks, is jointly backing “psycho-comedy” A Fantastic Fear of Everything starring Simon Pegg.

Revenue at the studio’s TV division fell 7.8% to £4.7m with production space taken up by its film commitments.

TV shows that use the studios include ITV’s Dancing on Ice and Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, BBC2′s Dragons’ Den and Sky1′s live talent show Got to Dance.

Net debt at 30 June was £43.3m.

Last month Pinewood announced the first of the independent British films with production budgets of about £2m that it intends to back with investment of up to 20%.

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