Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has announced its strongest quarterly operating results in 12 years, signalling a financial turnaround at the company under its new management structure of Alex Yemenidjian and his second-in-command Chris McGurk
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), the cashflow measure by which Wall Street evaluates the performance of all media and entertainment companies, finished at $47.7m for the three months ending Dec 31, 1999. That compares with a loss of $15.6m reported for the same quarter the year before.
Net income was $15.2m compared to a net loss of $43.7m in the same quarter 1998, an improvement that can only bolster MGM's share-price. It also helps position the studio for a merger with another entertainment giant or perhaps a content-hungry Internet operation as the current wave of consolidation continues to sweep over the entire sector.
Factors contributing to this reversal in fortunes included: the success of a boxed set of James Bond pictures on video and DVD (3.1m units worldwide), the release worldwide of the 19th James Bond picture The World Is Not Enough and the launch of TV news show National Enquirer TV in 94% of US households.
MGM's Yemenidjian, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer, also pointed to the creation of an exclusive new movie channel in Israel, an agreement with Blockbuster to develop digital streaming and downloading for selected MGM library titles, and the reclaiming of rights to 426 films in Germany from ARD/Degeto.
The studio also outlined its movie slate for 2000 and for 2001, several of which are being handled in overseas territories by foreign sales outfits:
2000 US RELEASE SLATE FOR MGM AND UNITED ARTISTS
FILM SLATE FOR 2001