Beyond International managing director Mikael Borglund has played down the company's US$12m (A$22m) loss for the year ending June 30, saying it was principally due to a $10.7m revaluation of non-performing films and television programs from the catalogue. Total writedowns were actually $12.6m with the addition of online investments and foreign exchange losses.
The board agreed on this "conservative approach" because of continuing poor worldwide sales, uncertain world economic conditions, and a current climate which sees public companies increasingly under the spotlight.
"We did not want to get into an argument about the value of our assets and it was prudent to create a loss at this time," Borglund told Screen International.
Revenues were down about 45% on the previous year to $29m. This was due to a change in when revenues are recognised - as licence fees take effect rather than at the time agreements are signed - and the cancellation by ABC TV of the weekly soap opera Something In The Air.
"Sales were down a bit but the effect was amplified by changes to our accounting policies," said Borglund, noting that the company had nearly $11m in net assets. "We have not bought a lot of television product in the last couple of years because of the market conditions but we are now actively restocking the catalogue."
The company's four divisions are film distribution, television production, television distribution and online services. A recent changing of the guard sees London-based Hilary Davis in charge at Beyond Films. Acquisitions are likely to remain at 10 films per year, split evenly between Australian and international titles.
"Because we do not deal in action adventure budgets, we have got to focus on quality character-driven films, although it is also important to have strong stories," said Borglund. It is unlikely there will be any more genre films as in recent years.