Entertainment One announces first dividend

Oliver Smith
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FILM and television distributor Entertainment One will pay its first dividend to shareholders after a sharp rise in annual profits and revenues due to synergies from its takeover of Alliance Films last January.

Entertainment One saw a 30 per cent jump in revenues to £819.6m during the year to 31 March, with core profits rising 48 per cent to £92.3m.

“This strong operating performance again demonstrates the strength of our strategy of investing in content rights and exploiting them across multiple territories and multiple consumer platforms,” said boss Darren Throop.

The firm released 275 films in theatres during the year including 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle – lower than the 311 releases it had in the previous year, mainly due to the rationalisation of Entertainment One and Alliance’s titles.

TV programming put out by the firm rose slightly to 317 half-hours, with its Peppa Pig franchise spreading to new countries including China and France.

Shares have slipped over 20 per cent since the start of March and yesterday fell a further 2.3 per cent to 272.7p.

“The recent share price weakness is not specific to Entertainment One, but is mirrored in many media stocks,” said Peel Hunt’s media analyst Malcolm Morgan. “In the case of Entertainment One we believe it represents an opportunity to buy in a sector that is seeing material consolidation of content producers, especially in TV.”