UK studio operator Pinewood Shepperton has reported a 55% drop in first half profits after film production was hit by the economic crisis and the drawn-out dispute between the US studios and the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG).
In the six months to June 30, profit before tax was $2.8m (£1.7m), compared to $6.2m (£3.8m) in the same period last year. Film operations suffered the biggest falls, as revenue dropped by $2.0m (£1.2m) year-on-year to $19.3m (£11.8m). TV revenues showed a smaller drop of $0.5m (£0.3m), to $9m (£5.5m).
Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Shepperton, said: “The past six months have shown the resilience of our business against a backdrop of wider industry and economic pressures.
He said the fall in film revenue reflected the impact of both the SAG dispute and the increasingly difficult in securing financing for films, which has led to productions being delayed.
The results come just two months after Pinewood submitted a planning application for a $327m (£200m) studio and housing project next to the existing Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. The project has so far cost $6.6 (£4m) in planning-related costs.
The group hopes that the success of recent British hits associated with the studios, such as Slumdog Millionaire and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, will draw in more productions in the second half of the year.
It is also due to collect fees from its recently concluded takeover of Toronto’s Filmport Studios, and and has renewed a contract with Disney Character Voices to provide voices for international versions.