1. James Bond Boosts Pinewood's Profits

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-08-28

    James Bond has helped boost the half-year profits of UK’s Pinewood Shepperton studios.

    Screen Daily reports that the studio reported a 31% year-on-year increase in half-year pre-tax profits to $6.7 million (£3.8m) partly as a result of several major film shoots, such as Quantum of Solace. Revenues rose 19% to $39.9 million (£21.7m) with revenues from film up 20% to $23.8 million (£13m).

    In addition to the 22nd Bond production, Pinewood is currently hosting Richard Curtis’s The Boat That Rocked and The Wolfman.

    This marks a major improvement from last year, when the studio took a $6 million (£3.2m) hit because of cancelled shoots due to the writers’ strike, the pound-to-dollar exchange rate and a new tax system.

    Business is now ‘back on track’ at the home of 007, according to CEO Ivan Dunleavy. ‘The tax regime [this year] encourages confidence and that in turn brings sustainable growth,’ he stated.

    The improved revenues for this year were proof of Pinewood’s ‘consistent revenue streams even in times of wider economic uncertainty.’

    A press release follows below:

    Bond Shoot Boosts Pinewood Profits

    Blockbuster film shoots such as the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace have helped boost half-year profits at film studios Pinewood Shepperton.

    Other new movies using the historic studios included the 1960s pirate radio station movie The Boat That Rocked, scripted by Notting Hill author Richard Curtis, and werewolf feature The Wolfman.

    The movies lifted film revenues–the group’s core business–to £13 million during the half year to June 30, up from £10.8 million the previous year. Pinewood’s overall revenues were up 19% to £21.7 million, with pre-tax profits 31% ahead at £3.8 million.

    The group suffered a £3 million revenues hit last year after a big movie shoot was cancelled because of the US writers strike.

    Buckinghamshire-based Pinewood warned there could be more trouble ahead from a new dispute between the Screen Actors Guild in the US and studios.

    The parties are in negotiations over pay and conditions and although there are hopes of an upcoming settlement, Pinewood said its film revenues could be affected next year if the dispute is not resolved.

    Pinewood’s TV income also improved 23% to £5.8 million during the first half thanks to hosting shows such as Sky TV’s big budget Gladiators, The Lily Allen Show and The Weakest Link. The company operates TV studios and production facilities in Shepperton, Surrey, and Teddington, London.

    Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said the results were proof of the group’s ability to deliver “consistent revenue streams even in times of wider economic uncertainty.”

    He said “visibility on prospective revenues” meant he was confident about the year as a whole.

    Pinewood is trying to diversify away from the film industry into more TV production and property ventures.

    Keep watching the main page for all the latest James Bond coverage–including all the latest news on Quantum of Solace.