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Starz Distribution Rebounds to Profitability

29 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Unit includes Anchor Bay Entertainment

Starz Distribution July 29 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) operating income of $1.1 million, compared with a loss of $5.2 million during the prior-year period. Revenue topped $78.4 million, up 4.3% from revenue of $75.1 million a year ago.

Starz Distribution, which is a unit of Starz LLC, develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it on DVD, digital and television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital and worldwide business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as third parties, notably The Weinstein Co.

Indeed, Starz Distribution said cash paid for investment in films and television programs increased $12.8 million to $53.7 million, due to timing of payments for Weinstein titles.

Top Weinstein releases include Paddington, Woman in Gold, with Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, and Begin Again with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo.

Current theatrical releases include boxing drama Southpaw, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams.

Meanwhile, CEO Chris Albrecht said Starz Networks remains on track this year to achieve management’s goal of 75 to 80 episodes of new Starz Original programming. He gave shout outs to the second season of “Power” and the first season of “Outlander.”

The remainder of the 2015 originals slate includes “Blunt Talk,” “Survivor's Remorse,” “Da Vinci's Demons,” “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” “Flesh and Bone” and newcomer “American Gods.”

“We are confident that robust original programming in combination with our quality movie offerings will further strengthen our distribution and subscriber relationships,” Albrecht said in a statement.

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