Pinewood Studios struggles to cope with blockbuster demand

 
Joe Hall
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The next James Bond film is being shot at Pinewood (Source: Getty)

The figures

The UK's famous Pinewood Studios is in such high demand that it is having to regularly turn away big movie productions, potentially sending them outside the UK.

Read more: Pinewood studios in £200m expansion

The Pinewood Group, which runs the facility in Buckinghamshire, reported record revenue of £75m in the year to the end of March after hosting mega-productions Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Spectre, the forthcoming James Bond film.

The 17 per cent rise in revenue came alongside an 18.4 per cent increase in operating profit from £4.9m to £5.8m. Basic earnings per share at the Aim-listed company rose to 13.5p from 11.5p last year.

Why it's interesting

Things are only going to get better for Pinewood, which plays host to 250 media companies. Space is at a premium, but that is soon set to change with the first phase of its "Pinewood Studios Development Framework" now underway.

Over 1m sq ft of new studio space, 10 stages and other facilities are being built as part of the £200m expansion plan, which is being partly funded by a £30m share placing in April.

What Pinewood said

Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said:

Following the successful share placing in April 2015, construction has begun on the first phase of the Pinewood expansion. This is an exciting development for the group and we are pleased with the support and commitment given to us through the placing.

Although we have hosted the three largest film productions of the year...we continue to be unable to meet all the demand from large films. This will partly be addressed by the first phase of the Pinewood expansion.

In short

Blockbusters continue to flock to Buckinghamshire, but Pinewood's future growth will be tempered by how quickly it can complete its ambitious expansion plans.

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