After a turbulent 2007, the chief executive of RDF Media Group has said he believes the firm has emerged stronger and is well prepared for growth.
RDF reported group revenue of £120.6 million for the year ending January 31st, up 21.5 per cent on 2007. Gross profit was up 16 per cent to £35.5 million, while profit before tax was £2.0 million (compared with £6.2 million in 2007).
Highlights from the year include the strong growth of US production - with gross profit increasing by 104.4 per cent - plus the increase of gross profits from exploitation of IP rising by 99.5 per cent.
In addition, 100 episodes of Way to Blue, a major new pre-school series for the BBC, have been commissioned by Cbeebies for broadcast in 2009.
"2007 was a turbulent year for the group, but we are confident that we have emerged stronger and well prepared for growth," said David Frank, chief executive of the group. "Our continuing strategy of diversification has served us well; our US productions now account for 25.1 per cent of group revenue, compared with 15.8 per cent last year and during the period IP gross profit almost doubled year on year.
"RDF's Content divisions have won important new commissions and re-commissions and our Rights division is actively representing more content in more genres, driven in part by the success of RDF USA in the second half of last year. Trading in the current year is in line with market expectations."
The firm's primary focus going forward is to grow its group companies, in the UK and US, by investing in programme development and by recruiting new talent. It is also looking to grow the volume of programming it represents in the Rights division, sourced from both the international and domestic markets.