Studio Babelsberg closes out profitable year 2010

12.05.2011

International film productions make for stable business year

Once again in 2010, Studio Babelsberg was successful in attracting international filmmakers and well-known stars: from Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger in Unknown Identity, through Ashley Greene in The Apparition, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana in Hanna, Isabella Rossellini in Chicken with Plums, Vanessa Redgrave and Rhys Ifans in Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, to Milla Jovovich and Orlando Bloom in The Three Musketeers 3D. During the past business year, services and production activities for these films returned the Studio Babelsberg Group to the profit zone as a reliable production partner for major US studios and international production companies.

Once again, we have shown that we can offer international filmmakers the best combination of studio services, top-rate set construction, experienced, international and passionate filmmaking crew, and the right film subsidy models.
Dr. Carl Woebcken
CEO of Studio Babelsberg

With total revenues of 57.5 million Euros, Studio Babelsberg had earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 422 thousand EUR (2009: minus 2.1 million EUR). Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITD) were 1.9 million EUR (2009: minus 850,000 EUR). The growth in earnings was primarily due to higher utilization rates in our core activities of studio rental and set construction. Here, we especially profited from an increase in film-related and non-film construction for decoration and sets performed by our subsidiary, Art Department Studio Babelsberg GmbH. Because income from studio rentals was higher than in the previous year, Studio Babelsberg AG’s earnings from rentals increased by 1,200,000 EUR to 6,500,000 EUR. The company’s overall performance rose from 44,300,000 EUR in 2009 to 55,700,000 EUR. As before, our company is debt-free. We have no bank obligations we need to service. As a result, at the close of the 2010 reporting period the AG as a whole enjoys an equity ratio of 94 percent, and at the company level a ratio of 87 percent.

Dr. Carl Woebcken, Chairman and CEO of Studio Babelsberg AG: „We are happy we have been able to overcome the economic challenges of 2009. In 2010, we were able to attract major international film productions to Babelsberg. Once again, we have shown that we can offer international filmmakers the best combination of studio services, top-rate set construction, experienced, international and passionate filmmaking crew, and the right film subsidy models.“

To protect the company's liquidity the Supervisory Boards agreed at its meeting on May 4th to a proposal by the Executive Board not to pay a dividend for the 2010 business year.

Highlights in 2010 were the film productions Unknown Identity, Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous and action and adventure film The Three Musketeers. The action thriller Unknown Identity, with Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger and Bruno Ganz in the leading roles, was shot at the Studios and at numerous locations around Berlin and attracted major international attention to the capital city region and to Studio Babelsberg. The Shakespeare drama Anonymous on the other hand plays in 16th century London and was shot entirely on the many sets on our stages. It was the first film shot by Roland Emmerich in Germany since more than 20 years. The Three Musketeers 3D, starring Milla Jovovich, Logan Lerman, Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz, was the first 3D movie production at Babelsberg

Looking ahead, in 2011 the board is cautiously optimistic. Principal photography for the horror comedy Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters began this spring. This film is being produced for major US studio Paramount Pictures. Following on heels of The Three Musketeers, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is the second major 3D film production in a very short time. The management sees this as a positive signal for the future, since the trend towards producing major, big-budget films in 3D continues. Already in 2010, eight of the 20 biggest box-office successes were films in 3D, after just three in 2009. As an experienced production base, we see ourselves well positioned to accommodate this trend, both in terms of people and technology.

Studio Babelsberg holds its shareholders meeting on June 24th, 2011, at the fx.Center in Babelsberg. The annual report for 2010 and the shareholders meeting agenda will be available for download under www.studiobabelsberg.com starting May 16th.