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Motion International Publishes Its Second Quarter Results for the 1999-2000 Fiscal Year.

Business Editors


Company Shows Strong Growth in Its Revenues and Net

Earnings for a Third Consecutive Quarter

For the second quarter of the 1999-2000 fiscal year ended January 31, 2000, Motion International (TSE:MOT.A.) has pursued its excellent performance engaged in the first quarter.

Due to a marked increase in its level of business activity, Motion International showed significant growth in its results for a third consecutive quarter. Indeed, all business units of the Company have experienced growth in revenue since the beginning of this fiscal year.

During the second quarter, Motion International recorded revenues of $42.2 million, double the $21 million for the corresponding period last year. The Company's net earnings for the quarter are $656,660, compared with a loss of $607,193 for the same period last year. Net earnings per share were $0.03 compared to a loss of $0.03 one year earlier. Between the two periods, the weighted average number of shares in circulation rose from 19.8 million to nearly 23 million.

Focusing on the profit margin, the Company posted a decline of 2.03 points, to 16.59% from 18.62%. This spread is due to the difference between the average margin generated on revenues from live performances, which is 10%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to $3 million, an increase of $2.7 million compared with $358,169 for the same quarter last year. Administrative expenses were $4.0 million compared with $3.6 million for the same period last year.

For the six-month period of the 1999-2000 fiscal year, the Company recorded net earnings of $1.4 million ($0.06 per share) compared with earnings of $22,630 ($0.00 per share) for the corresponding six-month period last year. Revenues for the first six months reached $79.6 million, an increase of 52.2% compared with $52.3 million recorded one year earlier.



($000s, except per-share
figures, the number of Quarters ended: Six months ended:
shares and percentages) January January January January
 31, 2000 31, 1999 31, 2000 31, 1999
---------------------- -------- --------- -------- ----------
Revenue $42,169 $20,994 $79,624 $52,321
Gross profit $6,995 $3,909 $13,534 $10,522
Gross profit (%) 16.59% 18.62% 17.00% 20.11%
EBITDA $3,021 $358 $5,814 $3,044
Net earnings $657 $(607) $1,401 $23
---------------------- -------- --------- -------- ----------
Earnings per share
- undiluted $0.03 $(0.03) $0.06 $0.00
- diluted $0.03 $(0.03) $0.06 $0.00
---------------------- -------- --------- -------- ----------
Average shares
 outstanding 22,982,583 19,778,570 22,982,583 19,778,570
Total assets $179,353 $137,477 $179,353 $137,477
Shareholders' equity $69,465 $65,336 $69,465 $65,336
---------------------- -------- --------- -------- ----------

Departure of Guy Crevier

On January 25, we announced the departure of the Company's president and CEO, Guy Crevier, who joined the daily newspaper La Presse as President and Publisher. Board members wish to thank him for his achievements of the past 18 months in managing the Company. Following his departure, the human resources committee of the Board of Directors immediately began a process to find a new president. Pierre Guilbault, Senior Vice-president and Chief Financial Officer, has assumed the presidency on an interim basis. Charles Sirois permanently returns as Chairman of the Board.

Operations Highlights

Youth and Animation

The Youth and Animation unit generated revenues of $4.6 million, an increase of $1.1 million compared with the second quarter of last year. Nearly $1.6 million of this amount comes from youth productions (such as Les Debrouillards; Dans une Galaxie pres de chez M@x; and Popular Mechanics for Kids), while $3.0 million came from six animated series, including Pirate Family, Fly Tales, Xcalibur and Marsupilami.

One of the major events of this unit during the second quarter was the signing of a $15 million agreement with Wrebbit Inc. (the leader in the Canadian toy industry) to develop and launch the Brin D'amour(MD)/Lovin' Heart(TM) concept internationally. Motion International will produce an animated television series (52 episodes of 15 minutes) based on Lovin' Heart with the participation of TF1 International through its subsidiary Protecrea.

Note that Louis Fournier was named President of this unit on March 6.

International Drama

Revenues for the International Drama unit reached $9.7 million, an increase of $6.7 million compared with the same period last year.

Revenues for this quarter came primarily from the production of the series Largo Winch, based on the most popular cartoon character in Europe today. This coproduction with the French company Dupuis Films (publisher of the Largo Winch comic book) is being produced in partnership with M6 (France), Betafilm in cooperation with Tandem Communications (Germany), A.T. Production with RTL-Tvi (Belgium), and Paramount International Television (USA). Shooting of the series finished in Montreal at the end of January. The team has now moved to Paris for the European shoot. The production of 16 additional one-hour episodes was also confirmed, with a budget of $22.5 million. Motion International's share of this amount totalled $15.7 million. This was added to the first 10-show block already announced, bringing the total hours for the series to 26.

Canadian Content

The Canadian Content unit continues to make progress. Revenues for the second quarter were $16.6 million, $10.6 million higher than the same period last year.

During this quarter, we signed agreements (totalling $1.85 million) with three new specialty channels: Z, Historia and Canal Evasion, which have been on the air since January 31, 2000. The three series represent a combined total of 335 hours: 312 one-hour episodes of the daily magazine Pret a partir for Canal Evasion, one series of twenty 30-minute programs entitled Technofolie for Z, and a series of thirteen 60-minute documentaries, Artisans de notre histoire for Historia.

The television movie Dr. Lucille, depicting the life of Canadian heroine Dr. Lucille Teasdale and her husband Dr. Piero Corti, has been completed. It will be aired April 30, 2000, on CTV, and the French version will appear on the TVA Network this fall. The movie was presented in a special preview in Ottawa on March 15 to numerous dignitaries, ministers, MPs, parliamentarians and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Performances of the new run of Notre-Dame de Paris sold out in Montreal, Quebec City, La Baie and Sherbrooke. The show also took to the stage at the end of January in Toronto's Pantages Theatre. There were 100 performances of this new run of Notre-Dame de Paris. Distribution

The Distribution unit also continued to grow. Revenues for this business unit were $11.3 million for the quarter, an increase of $2.7 million compared with the same quarter last year.

In International sales -- highlights include the licensing of 10 films to Screen Media Ventures for the syndication market in the United States. As well, we licensed four films to the American Home Video marketplace. Worldwide sales of Motion programming such as Little Men, 36 Hours to Die and Racing Against Time continue to perform well in the marketplace.

Domestically the theatrical release of Better Than Chocolate continues to perform well in the marketplace. Home Video continues to benefit from our acquisition of more high profile titles such as 36 Hours to Die, The Last Marshall and Someone is Watching.

The first original Barney Christmas video in several years, Night Before Christmas, was an enormous success during the holidays. More Barney Songs was launched in VHS and DVD in January. Catalogue sales of the various Barney and Veggie Tales titles continue to grow. The first two French episodes of Barney, launched last fall, also met with great success.

Our joint venture TV sales company, Fox/Motion, continues to play a leading role with all broadcasters across Canada. We have licensed a significant amount of product to the new start up French language speciality services which were launched January 31st.

The leading independent producer in Quebec and second in Canada, Motion International is the leader as well among Canadian distributors of television programming. Motion International activities are concentrated in four sectors: Youth and Animation, International Drama, Canadian Content, and Distribution. Motion International class "A" shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MOT.A.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 17, 2000
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