THE film studio in which the Manx taxpayer is investing £12m has seen a rise in revenue, operating profits and basic earnings per share, according to figures released this week.
The island’s Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK rushed out a press statement to welcome the news ftom Pinewood Shepperton plc.
Pinewood Shepperton, home to productions including the new James Bond film Skyfall, reported a good six months from April to September and also reports strong demand for its studio facilities into 2013 and beyond.
Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive, said: ‘Current trading is positive with a high level of contracted revenues for the remainder of the current financial year. The number of film productions contracted so far for next year is encouraging and the Board looks forward to the future with confidence.’
Pinewood’s interim results were announced as filming continues in the Isle of Man on Dom Hemingway, a black comedy starring Jude Law and Richard E. Grant.
This is the 100th film production for the island.
The government says the industry has delivered significant benefits for the Manx economy in recent years, including the generation of more than £100million of local expenditure.
Mr Teare said: ‘Pinewood Shepperton’s interim results reflect a buoyant company with a long order book and plans for further expansion and growth. We hope to reap the rewards of teaming up with one of the world’s leading media brands, both as a shareholder in the company and through investments made via our Media Development Fund.’
He added: ‘It is time to draw a line under the recent debate about the Pinewood deal and focus our energy on achieving the maximum benefits from this partnership. Joining forces with an expanding global brand is a positive move towards the further diversification of the Isle of Man economy. Being innovative, enterprising and exploiting niche sectors is crucial to the island’s future wellbeing, and the film and wider creative industries will continue to play a key role in our strategy for future growth.’
Treasury signed an agreement in October to transfer management of the Isle of Man’s £25 million film and television investment fund to Pinewood Film Advisors Ltd for an initial five-year period, and to buy nearly five million ordinary shares in Pinewood Shepperton plc. That represents spending of £12,230,000 from the Isle of Man Government’s investment reserves to take a shareholding of 9.89 per cent.
The Isle of Man has so far collaborated with Pinewood on two high-profile films, Belle and Dom Hemingway, and there are a number of other projects in the pipeline.
Mr Teare added: ‘We are already starting to see the benefits of this partnership which I believe will further enhance the island’s reputation in the film industry.
‘I also draw great encouragement from that fact that Pinewood is building a new £6.9m, 45,000 sq ft studio facility in order to meet continued demand. This demonstrates a company and an industry that are investing in the future with confidence.’
Revenue £27.1m (six months ended December 31, 2011: £24.6m).
Operating profit before exceptional items £6.1m (six months ended December 31, 2011: £3.7m).
Profit before tax £3.0m after exceptional items (six months ended December 31, 2011: £5.4m loss).
Could the Manx government’s investment be money well spent? Log in to share your views.