Friday 11 October 2019 7:44 am

Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One deepens losses days before £3.3bn Hasbro merger vote

Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One has revealed a £43.9m loss in the first quarter of the year, just days before Hasbro puts a massive takeover offer to a shareholder vote.

The media firm posted a £43.9m loss, up from a £6.8m loss this time last year, blaming higher debt and its acquisition of Audio Network.

Read more: Peppa Pig owner’s share price soars after Hasbro swoops in with offer

Revenue fell seven per cent year on year to £173.1m while underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell from £17.3m last year to £13.4m.

Net dent soared by £168.5m to £510m, up £168.5m from the end of March as  investment in acquiring new content rose 40 per cent to £93.3m.

Shareholders saw losses per share climb from 0.3p this time last year to 8.3p this quarter.

Why it’s interesting

E One’s poor performance comes less than a week before game maker Hasbro is set to pay £3.3bn – subject to shareholder approval next Thursday.

Hasbro’s offer sent E One’s shares soaring in August to an all-time high. Prior to the offer EOne’s shares were worth less than 400p, but they closed yesterday at 562p.

Read more: Hasbro makes $4bn offer for Entertainment One

Today E One said that while family and brands division revenue was “broadly stable”, film and television suffered a poor performance due to “variances in the timing and mix of deliveries compared to the prior period”.

However, it said the market for scripted shows remains “vibrant”, and that its music division continues to grow organically while benefiting from Audio Network’s catalogue.