Entertainment One revenues up

Entertainment One reports strong top-line growth across all divisions in the first half and remains on track to deliver strategic targets by 2020.

Group reported revenues were 19% higher at £401 million (2015: £337 million), with growth across all divisions on both a reported and constant currency basis.

Underlying EBITDA fell to £37.7 million from £52 million a year ago. The group says this was in line with management expectations, driven by the timing of increased theatrical investment in the very strong first half film slate which will drive second half performance.

Group adjusted profit before tax was £23.8 million (2015: £39.9 million) and reported profit before tax was £3.7 million (2015: £18.1 million) delivering adjusted diluted earnings per share of 2.6 pence per share (0.1 pence per share on a reported basis).

Chief executive Darren Throop said: "We are pleased to be able to report revenue growth across all Divisions during the period, with particular highlights being the continued performance from The Mark Gordon Company and the wider Television Division, double-digit growth in the Family business and most notably the strong period in the box office that the Film Division has delivered with a number of high profile films performing extremely well.

"The Group's strategy to invest in content continues to bear fruit and the entertainment market's focus on quality content plays to Entertainment One's strengths ensuring that the Group is ideally positioned for the future. Whilst theatrical investment has impacted profitability in the period, we will see the financial benefits of this investment delivered in the second half of the financial year.

"The period ahead is an exciting one. The Television business has 86% of its full year revenues already delivered, contracted, or commissioned, the Family business is underpinned by exceptional performance from Peppa Pig with PJ Masks showing strong potential, and the Film Division is set to benefit from both the second half's strong slate, and the home entertainment window for films including The BFG and The Girl on the Train. As such, the Group remains on track to deliver full year financial performance in line with management expectations."

Entertainment One also announced that chief financial officer Giles Willits is stepping down. Entertainment One says that following almost 10 successful years with the group, Willits has decided to take some time off and then look to develop the next stage of his career.

The board says Joe Sparacio will join as interim CFO with immediate effect. Sparacio has extensive experience in the sector having recently stepped down as CFO of IMAX after nine years in the role. Prior to this he held senior finance roles at iN DEMAND and Loews Cineplex Entertainment.

The board also announced the appointment of Mitzi Reaugh as a non-executive director. Reaugh has extensive experience in the sector having held senior positions in a number of large media and internet businesses. These include Miramax, The Chernin Group, NBC Universal and currently Nasdaq listed Harmonic.

At 9:32am: (LON:ETO) Entertainment One Group share price was -23.4p at 222.4p