First profits for Lovefilm as sales grow

DVD rental company Lovefilm has increased its customer base by more than a fifth and made its first profits.

The company, which website Amazon took control of in February, saw sales increase 14.4 per cent to £111.19m in 2010. The accounts of Lovefilm International, published at Companies House yesterday, also show it swung from a pre-tax loss of £934,00 to a profit of £1.92m.

The firm, which has also started streaming digital movies, has achieved stellar growth and earlier this year it topped The Sunday Times Buyout Track 100, which ranks private equity -backed firms according to profit growth. Soon afterwards Amazon, then a 42 per cent shareholder, bought the rest of Lovefilm, which has benefited from the popularity of blockbuster films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, for an undisclosed sum.

When approached by City A.M., chief executive Simon Calver said in a statement: “Lovefilm continues to go from strength to strength in terms of membership, content, and breadth of platforms. Having the support of the world’s best e-commerce company is a tremendous benefit.”

The home entertainment business had 1.6m subscription customers across Britain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway last year and wants to grow in its existing market before going into new territories.

Its review said: “We maintained our strong customer growth rate of over 20 per cent as further investment in our multi-platform offering continued to resonate with customers.”