Pinewood Shepperton studios reportedly suffered a £3.9 million loss in 2011, despite the fact they received a record revenue totalling £50.7 million.
Last year was a good year for Pinewood in terms of film. They celebrated a 24% increase in revenue, despite the fact their plans for a “Hollywood” style expansion were denied. The Hobbit, Snow White and the Huntsman and the brand new James Bond, Sky Fall all contributed to the successful yearly run. Even TV revenue was up.
So it is baffling that, after everything was added up, there was still an unprecedented loss. What happened?
Reportedly, on top of the £35.9m the studio gained in film revenue, Pinewood saw their £5.8m 2010 pre-tax profit fall to a £3.9m loss in 2011, after being hit with £12m in additional charges.
You see, in January you may have heard that “Project Pinewood“, the company’s ambitious move to develop a £200m site in Buckinghamshire, that would have rivalled Hollywood studios, was blocked by the government. Without planning permission, they could not go through with the development.
As a result, the studio has had to deal with additional costs of £7.1m from the denied planning application.
The Chief Executive of Pinewood Shepperton, Ivan Dunleavy said that despite the setback, they were determined to continue the UK’s growth in the creative industry:
“The board, supported by its major shareholder, [is] determined to work with government and stakeholders to deliver the long-term vision for Pinewood that it needs if it is to remain a global centre for the film and creative industries. We will therefore continue to engage to ensure that the site meets the needs for growth over the next 20-30 years.”
Pinewood also acquired £3.9m in extra charges, courtesy of the takeover by Peel Holdings in July 2011. Peel now own a 71.1% shareholding in Pinewood, while the Stockport Jeweller Warren James owns 27.9%.
Pinewood appear to be paying no mind to the £12m loss, and are focusing on the positives.
“The company has delivered a strong performance for the full year with overall revenues significantly up. Our strategy has delivered robust growth. The on-going demand from big budget films and large scale television shows for our unique facilities remains resilient. Our international strategy continues to deliver growth and further opportunity to extend the Pinewood brand overseas. Against these record results the company is well positioned to develop its activities.”
Let us hope this growth isn’t thwarted by the planning police in future then.