Alibaba Pictures Cuts Losses to $22 MillionVariety — Patrick Frater
Alibaba Pictures Group, the film services and production division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, saw its revenues increase by 29% in the six months between April and September. Its net losses decreased.
Revenues increased from RMB1.18 billion to $220 million (RMB1.53 billion) in the period reflecting growth across its three business units: Internet-based promotion and distribution; content investment and production; and merchandizing.
Losses at the operating level were essentially unchanged at $61.0 million (RMB424 million). But the group benefited from $37.7 million (RMB262 million) of net financial income and was able to show net losses reduced from RMB431 million to $22.2 million (RMB154 million).
Revenues at the online ticketing platform Taopiaopiao were swelled by the overall growth of the Chinese box office, and its own expanded market share. The group says that it also managed to reduce the unit’s marketing costs by 17%.
Alibaba Pictures also had a hand in hit films “Dying to Survive,” “Hello Mr Billionaire,” and Mission: Impossible – Fallout” either as a distributor or investor. The content production unit enjoyed an 83% surge in revenues, to $44.8 million (RMB311 million,) driven by licensing of TV shows including “SCI” and “Gossip High” to streaming platforms iQiyi and (Alibaba-owned) Youku. Its upcoming slate includes animated film “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year,” for release in February 2019.
“The company “upheld its strategy of ‘data + ecosystem’ to build an end-to-end value chain that covers content production & development, promotion & distribution, merchandising realization and financial services, and to launch high-quality content with influential and positive energy, and continue to empower industry partners to continue to provide joyful entertainment content for consumers,” said Alibaba Pictures chairman and CEO, Fan Luyuan. “Alibaba Pictures will continue to help the traditional film industry to enhance efficiency to accelerate its industrialization process.”
With its shares – listed in both Hong Kong and Singapore – trading at HK$1.07, the company has a market capitalization of $3.49 billion (HK$27.3 billion).