Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One reports 19 per cent increase in revenue but profit dives in first half

Caitlin Morrison
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Peppa Pig is EOne's best-known show (Source: Getty)

Entertainment One has reported declining profits for the six months to 30 September, despite revenue climbing almost 20 per cent.

The figures

Group revenues were up 19 per cent to £401m from £337m this time last year.

Adjusted profit before tax dropped 40 per cent from £40m to £24m, while reported pre-tax profit was down 80 per cent to £4m from £18m.

Diluted earnings per share dropped 3.9 per cent to 0.1p from 4p.

Shares in the group dropped 3.2 per cent in early trading.

Why it's important

Entertainment One was the target of a proposed takeover by ITV earlier this year, but avoided being bought.

The firm later said it would itself ease off on acquisitions, and instead let flagship show Peppa Pig lead its growth. Today, the company said the first half saw "strong progress in the strategic goal of making Peppa Pig the world's most loved pre-school brand".

The group also revealed today that finance chief Giles Willits is stepping down after almost 10 years at EOne. Joe Sparacio, ex-IMAX finance boss, will step in as interim chief financial officer with immediate effect.

What Entertainment One said

"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," said chief executive Darren Throop.

"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 per cent of its full year revenues already delivered, contracted, or commissioned, the family business is underpinned by exceptional performance from Peppa Pig."

Throop added that animated series PJ Masks is also showing strong potential, and said 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," he said.

In short

EOne is putting a lot of faith in Peppa Pig to bring home the bacon.

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