RLJ Entertainment Ups Q3 Revenue, Loss7 Nov, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Lack of new-release slate undermines revenue in the quarter
RLJ Entertainment Nov. 7 reported a third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) net loss of $8.5 million on revenue of $32.7 million. The parent of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group reported a pro-forma loss of $482,000 on revenue of $39.1 million during the same period last year when the companies were separately owned and operated.
The decrease in revenue was primarily driven by a decrease in RLJ’s wholesale distribution segment, including the timing release of one high-profile title, The Tall Man, released in 2012 with no equivalent release in 2013. RLJ has three high-profile titles releasing in the fourth quarter consisting of The Colony, Paradise and British comedy series "Doc Martin 6."
Offsetting the quarterly revenue decline was growth in both RLJ’s direct-to-consumer segment, which increased 7.7% or $549,000 for the quarter, and the company's U.K. wholesale distribution business, which increased 12.6% or $283,000. RLJ also experienced growth in its proprietary network, Acorn TV. As of Oct. 31, the pay subscribers for Acorn TV have grown by 100% to more than 40,000 compared with December 2012.
In addition to Acorn (British TV) and Image (stand-up comedy, feature films), RLJ Entertainment units include One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (educational), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets).
These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nov. 4 said it would assume distribution of, and admin support for, the Criterion Collection.
"I am pleased with the direction of the business in the third quarter as we continued to strengthen our content investment strategy through capital reallocation and securing additional cost savings,” CEO Miguel Penella said in a statement. “These initiatives led to year-over-year pre-tax growth, even on a lower base of revenue, underscoring the efficiencies that we are driving in the business. Going forward, I am confident that we are making the right decisions to establish a solid video entertainment platform and distribution strategy that positions the business for long-term growth."