Eros teases about NYSE listing as Indian sales stiffen

Indian-language film producer Eros International saw sales slow in the final quarter as it geared up for a 'game-changing' collaboration with US network HBO.

Indian-language film producer Eros International saw sales slow in the final quarter as it geared up for a 'game-changing' collaboration with US network HBO.

The Aim-listed group, which is planning to also list on the New York Stock Exchange, added no news on this subject, and announced fewer television deals in the run up to its joint venture with HBO, which saw two premium HBO channels launched in India with two direct-to-home satellite broadcasters in March with others expected to go live in coming months.

In results from the company's principal operating subsidiary, Eros International Media, management said the early response from subscribers had "surpassed expectations" and signalled good momentum for the new financial year.

For the year to March 31st 2013 the company released 77 films in multiple languages, the same number as the year before, but saw revenue increase 11.5% to 10,744m Indian rupees (£125m), as fourth quarter sales slipped 2.6% to 2,139m rupees.

Major films in the period included 'Housefull 2' and 'English Vinglish', which were two of the top ten highest grossing films in India in 2012, the latter grossing $14m worldwide in just three weeks.

Pre-tax profits increased 4.5% to 1,545m rupees, with diluted earnings up 4% to 16.81 rupees (20p).

Analyst Steve Liechti at joint house broker Investec said he viewed the year's performance as "a repositioning period ahead of digital and pay TV roll out and growth, with good upside expected into 2014".

Liechti, who lamented the lack of news about the NYSE listing, said the outlook was positive with good momentum in the HBO joint venture and subscriptions above Eros' expectations. We said expect UK Plc's full year figures in mid-June.

Shares in Eros International Plc were up 2.6% at 239.5p at 16:20 on Friday.

OH

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