To capitalize on post-pandemic economic recovery and growing popularity of video-on-demand streaming platforms through greater efforts to produce films, online movies and dramas
HONG KONG SAR 24 March 2023 – Shaw Brothers Holdings Limited (“Shaw Brothers” or the “Group”; Stock Code: 953) announces its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2022 (the “Year”) today.
- In February 2022, a 30-episode action crime drama series “Flying Tiger 3” was broadcast in Hong Kong, building on the success of its previous two seasons.
- In December 2022, a 27-episode anti-corruption drama series “Mission Run” was first broadcast in mainland China.
- An action crime film “Endless Battle” is scheduled to be first released on Youku in mainland China in May 2023 and its theatrical release in Hong Kong is expected in the same month.
- The Group’s revenue decreased by 25% to RMB161,051,000 in 2022 from RMB215,518,000 in 2021 mainly due to the decreased revenue contribution from both the film, drama and non-drama production segment, and artiste and event management segment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Loss attributable to the owners of the Company was RMB302,000 in 2022, in contrast to a profit of RMB16,403,000 in 2021.
- The Group’s total bank balances and cash and short-term bank deposits amounted to approximately RMB322,828,000 as at 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: RMB312,059,000), indicating a sound financial position.
- The Group’s equity attributable to the owners of the Company increased by 8% to RMB452,793,000 as at 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: RMB418,983,000).
- Net asset value per share attributable to the owners of the Company increased to 31.90 RMB cents (31 December 2021: 29.51 RMB cents).
- The Board did not recommend the payment of final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2022.
For the Year, the revenue of the Group was RMB161,051,000, representing a decrease of 25% from RMB215,518,000 for the year ended 31 December 2021 (the “Previous Year”). It was mainly due to the decreased revenue contribution from both the film, drama and non-drama production segment, and artiste and event management segment during the Year. In 2022, the COVID-19 continued to mutate and spread rapidly, resulting in multiple outbreaks and lockdowns in Hong Kong and mainland China. These delayed the development of film and drama projects and reduced external commercial engagements in the artiste and event management business in 2022.
Loss attributable to the owners of the Company amounted to RMB302,000 (2021: a profit of RMB16,403,000). The loss was caused by the decrease in overall revenue and the other loss recorded in the Year due to an exchange loss arising from translation of the renminbi-denominated trade receivables, trade payables and bank deposits during the Year. Loss per share were 0.02 RMB cents for the Year (2021: earnings per share of 1.16 RMB cents).
The Board of Directors has resolved not to recommend the payment of a final dividend. The Company believes that this measure is a prudent and responsible means of preserving cash for the long-term financial health of the Group.
In 2022, the Group continued to give full play to its content development capability by producing or distributing films and drama series with high-quality content through collaboration with its business partners in the industry. During the pandemic, the Group had been focusing its effort more on the drama series production in the light of the pandemic’s adverse effect on its film production business.
In February 2022, the Group had a 30-episode action crime drama series “Flying Tiger 3” broadcast on the over-the-top (OTT) media service platform myTV SUPER and the free-to-air channel of Television Broadcasts Limited (“TVB”) in Hong Kong, building on the success of its previous two seasons. In December 2022, the Group had a 27-episode anti-corruption drama series “Mission Run” first broadcast on Youku, a video hosting service platform under Alibaba Group in mainland China. “Mission Run” was scheduled to be broadcast on TVB’s myTV SUPER and free-to-air channel in Hong Kong from February to March 2023.
The Group also released non-drama productions, including such variety shows as “Gigi’s Tasteful Kitchen Third Season”, “The Order of Boss”, “Drive U To The Hell 3” and “HAHAHAHAHA Season 2” on various Chinese portals and online platforms in 2022.
During the Year, the Group was also preparing for the releases of new productions in 2023. An action crime film “Endless Battle” is scheduled to be first released on Youku in mainland China in May 2023 and its theatrical release in Hong Kong is expected in the same month. Also in the pipeline are variety shows such as “My United Lover”, of which the shooting was scheduled for December 2022 to February 2023 in Hong Kong and “Drive U To The Hell 7”, of which shooting was planned for March 2023 in Hong Kong.
Revenue from the film, drama and non-drama production decreased by 25% to RMB135,448,000 in 2022 from RMB180,841,000 in 2021.
The Group’s artiste and event management business had been affected by the pandemic in the past several years as film and drama productions and artistes’ commercial activities were shelved or postponed in compliance with the governments’ anti-pandemic measures. As a result, revenue from that business segment decreased by 26% to RMB25,603,000 in 2022 from RMB34,677,000 in 2021. In 2022, 73 artistes were under the Group’s management. Artistes managed by the subsidiary Shaw Brothers Pictures International Limited included famous artistes such as Bosco Wong, Joel Chan, Michael Fitzgerald Wong, Nancy Wu, Rosina Lam and Jeannie Chan; and popular singers such as Hubert Wu and James Ng. Artistes managed by the subsidiary Tailor Made Production Limited included famous artistes such as Wong Cho-lam, Roger Kwok and Eliza Sam; and popular singers such as Teresa Carpio and Vivian Lai.
In 2023, with the abatement of the pandemic and the resultant relaxation of the government’s anti-pandemic measures, the Group looks forward to a recovery in the economy and in the industries of film and drama production and artiste and event management.
In terms of production, it is expected that freedom to shoot films overseas will be resumed and thus movies of more diverse subjects and genres will be able to be produced. In terms of distribution, the cinemas have seen their operation’s return to normal and box-office successes of top-grossing films. The Group will make a greater effort again to produce films and will step up its effort to produce online movies and dramas for on-demand streaming services platforms in both mainland China and overseas countries, targeting Chinese communities.
The Group will also deepen the synergy between its business of film and drama production and that of artiste and event management by increasing the number of online movie and drama productions which include a combination of its own first-tier actors and actresses in the cast. It will also further tap the potential of its roster of artistes by having them conduct live-streaming e-commerce on online shopping platforms. It is expected that there will be more opportunities for its artistes to be hired in brand engagement campaigns after the pandemic.
Commenting on the Group’s prospect and strategies, Mr. Li Ruigang, Chairman and Non-executive Director of Shaw Brothers, said, “With our production expertise, established strategic partnerships and rich talent resources, we are well-positioned to capitalize on a post-pandemic recovery in the existing markets and to develop new markets under our strategy of investing in film and drama production with high-quality content. We will leverage our rich resources such as a seasoned production team and a rich pool of top artistes to tap the great potential of the markets of the Greater Bay Area and the Chinese communities all over the world as we aspire to be one of the leading content producers and curators in Asia-Pacific.”