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Lionsgate Reports $51 Million in Profit as Library Revenue Boosts Movie Business

The company said demand for its library during the pandemic is what saved them in the first fiscal quarter of 2021

Lionsgate on Thursday reported revenue of $813.7 million for its 2021 fiscal first quarter, as the company’s library revenue helped carry the company’s motion picture business.

The company reported profits of $51.1 million, after reporting a loss of $54 million last year. Lionsgate also reported earnings of 23 cents per share — analysts tracking the company via Yahoo Finance forecasted the media and entertainment company to report earnings of 2 cents per share — and reported revenue of $767.4 million. Last year’s revenue during the same period was $963.6 million, but Lionsgate was well ahead of analysts’ estimates for this year’s quarter.

“We’re pleased to report a quarter with strong financial results in which all of our priorities were evident,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said.  “During the quarter we took steps to monetize our film and television library, embraced innovative distribution strategies for our films, and acquired new properties while renewing others.  Most important, it was a quarter in which we used all of our resources to continue growing a unique, valuable and scalable global streaming platform at Starz.

Library revenue grew to a record $219 million in the quarter, driven by strong demand for content during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as revenue from the recent syndication of “Mad Men.” Lionsgate is backed by a 17,000-title library that includes TV shows like “Weeds,” “Boss” and “Nurse Jackie,” as well as film titles like “The Hunger Games” and “Rambo” franchises.

The motion picture segment, however, decreased by 29.4% to $280.7 million due to theater closings related to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as theatrical P&A expenses and increased home entertainment needs, the company said. The reported segment profit was $101.1 million.

The company said the TV segment revenue also decreased by 30.1% to $195.7 million, due to production shutdowns from COVID-19. Segment profits increased 39.6% to $34.9 million due to the syndication of “Mad Men.”

Revenue for the Media Networks segment was flat from the prior quarter, at $367.3 million, but the segment profit increased 18.5% to $71.8 million. The company said this was mainly due to lower losses at STARZPLAY International, the company’s premium streaming platform.

Starz Networks’ domestic OTT subscribers grew to 7.4 million in the quarter, while the company’s global OTT subscribers, which includes STARZ, STARZPLAY Arabia and PANTAYA) grew to 11.4 million.