Interviews

The Force Awakens at Pinewood as Star Wars studio's profits rocket 186 per cent

3 min read

02 December 2015

Former deputy editor

It's a case of “the Force is strong” for British film production studio Pinewood, the shooting location of soon-to-be-released Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, which has experienced a 186 per cent profit growth.

The financial update comes following an announcement from the group in July when it was revealed the site “unable to meet all the demand from large films”. Indeed, in addition to Star Wars, it also won the business of Avengers: Age of Ultron and James Bond film Spectre

Reporting on results for the six months ended 30 September 2015, Pinewood highlighted its raise of £30m through the sale of eight million shares.

The funds will support the company’s expansion in order to put an end to refusing business, and phase one of construction is set to be completed by June 2016. Elsewhere, phase two of work on the Atlanta site has been completed.

According to Pinewood, although revenue was down by 0.7 per cent to £38.2m, profits have rocketed by 186 per cent year-on-year to reach £7m, compared to 186.9 per cent.

“The first six months of the year have maintained the positive momentum reported in our full year results in June 2015. Productions based at the studios during the period include the year’s biggest films Spectre and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” said Ivan Dunleavy, Pinewood CEO.

“Media Investment deal flow on behalf of third party clients remains weighted to the balance of the year.”

Read more on the creative industries:

The creative industry received a notable backing in November when VC firm Edge Investments launched a £40m pot to plug the funding gap. Just a week later and Hargreaves Lansdown co-founder Stephen Lansdown signed up to the campaignand took a minority stake in the company.

According to Dunleavy, the completed acquisition of Shepperton Studios will bolster the ability to scale – this will in turn benefit the creative sector on the whole with more jobs created to build on the 2.6m people currently employed by the industry.

“The construction of phase one of the Pinewood expansion, designed to meet strong demand, is on schedule for completion in June 2016 and is within budget,” Dunleavy said.

“Having taken full ownership of Shepperton Studios in the previous financial year, 100 per cent of these earnings now accrue to the Company and we are able to review the existing masterplan for development of this facility.

“The positive results reported today have continued into the second half and we are encouraged by the visibility we have for the remainder of the year and into 2016.”