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Huayi H1 profit surges on box office revenue and tie-ins

(China Daily)

09:25, August 12, 2011

The Huayi Brothers headquarters in Beijing. The Shenzhen-listed movie company reported a 125 percent rise in its net profits for the first half of this year. Nan Shan / for China Daily

BEIJING - Huayi Brothers Media Corp (HBMC), the first publicly traded movie company on the Chinese mainland, reported on Wednesday night that its first-half revenue surged from a year earlier.

Revenue reached 330.66 million yuan ($51.67 million), up 63.2 percent year-on-year, while net profit increased 125.1 percent to 63.65 million yuan, the company said in a statement.

According to the statement, the movie business generated 141 million yuan, up 133 percent year-on-year, accounting for almost 43 percent of total revenue.

"Our prudent and strict selection mechanism for movie projects helped to ensure our growth," said Wang Zhongjun, chairman of HBMC.

Director Feng Xiaogang's If You Are The One 2 contributed the most to total first-half revenue.

The film grossed 75.83 million yuan from box office receipts and copyright sales, plus 22.29 million yuan in tie-ins, which together accounted for about 30 percent of the revenue.

In addition to the movie business, the company has expanded into different cultural activities in recent years.

Huayi signed an agreement in February with the Shanghai Jiading Industrial Zone to build a cultural complex in the area, primarily for use as a film production base.

It also invested with other partners to construct its first Huayi Brothers movie theme park in the Suzhou Industrial Park in May. Total investment is estimated at 3 billion yuan.

HBMC has so far expanded into online games, the music industry, movie theaters, TV dramas, talent agencies and cultural parks, while maintaining its core focus on the big screen.

Its expansion has attracted other investors.

Tencent Holdings Ltd invested 450 million yuan for a 4.6 percent stake in the Shenzhen-listed media company in May, becoming the movie giant's biggest institutional investor.

Tencent hopes to establish a close strategic relationship with HBMC to explore areas such as movies, TV and new media, Tencent President Martin Lau said in May.

"At present, we do have some communications with Tencent in five areas including movies, TV dramas and talent agencies," said Hu Ming, deputy-president of HBMC.

Some projects are under discussion, she added, though she wouldn't disclose any details.

HBMC is also the partner of US film studio Legend Pictures Llc, having invested in Legend's joint venture in China - Legendary East - which will be based in Hong Kong.

Huayi will co-produce movies with Legendary East and take charge of their distribution in China.

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