Madman’s first half earnings grow despite slowing revenue

01 April, 2011 by Brendan Swift

Independent distributor Madman Entertainment has increased its earnings in the first half of its financial year despite a 14.6 per cent decline in revenue.

Madman co-founder Paul Wiegard said the decline was largely due to the closure of the company’s interactive gaming division, which was included in the result last year, although DVD sales remained under pressure.


"We had a very good year in 2010; consistent throughout the year," he said. "We probably had the least amount of decline compared to the studios. We were basically flat compared to 2009 on pure disc sales,” although there has since been a decline in the first couple of months this year, he said.

Madman, which now comprises the entire entertainment division of publicly-listed company Funtastic, posted earnings of $5.67 million during the half – 27 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

The home entertainment industry is grappling with falling DVD sales and slow consumer take-up of the blu-ray DVD format. The online download industry is still in its early stages although the market is beginning to grow.

Wiegard said Madman remains committed to its theatrical business after a restructure last month resulted in the departure of theatrical distribution manager James Hewison.

The company will distribute Australian psychological horror Snowtown and local thriller The Hunter later this year. Among its international slate are films such as Brighton Rock, Babies, Mother's Day, The Trip and Submarine.

“It’s a viable part of what we do,” Wiegard said.

Funtastic posted revenue of $29.19 million in the six months ended January 31. Madman accounts for just under one-third of Funtastic's sales, which are also made up of toys, sporting, confectionery and nursery products.

Funtastic posted an overall net profit of $366,000 in the half compared to a net loss of $31.28 million in the same period a year earlier.