Monday, August 09, 2004

Lions Gate narrows Q1 loss to $11.5M

VANCOUVER — Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. narrowed its losses in the first quarter as the filmmaker reported a more than tripling of revenues on the release of successful new movies and a recent acquisition.

The Vancouver company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said today it lost $11.5 million (U.S.) or 12 cents a share for the three months ended June 30, the first quarter of the company's 2005 fiscal year. That compared with a loss of $12.8 million or 28 cents a share for the previous year.

Quarterly revenues more than tripled to $188.7 million from $53.3 million (U.S.) as the company benefited from the release of films such as Godsend, The Punisher and Fahrenheit 9/11 during the period. However, marketing and distribution costs also rose.

As well, Lions Gate (TSX: LGF), (NYSE: LGF) generated higher sales in the wake of the Canadian company's $240-million (U.S.) acquisition of U.S.-based Artisan Entertainment last December. That deal created a large independent — separate from the major Hollywood studios — with thousands of films in its catalogue.

"This quarter is representative of revenue levels as well as the mix and diversity of revenue sources anticipated from the consolidation of Lions Gate and Artisan," said Lions Gate chief executive Jon Feltheimer. "The successful launch of our recent theatrical releases as well as home entertainment sales from new and catalogue product gives me great confidence in reaffirming our previous guidance for the year."

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