BEIJING - Bona Film Group Ltd, China's largest privately owned film distributor by distribution numbers, said on Friday that its first-quarter net profit rose 76.7 percent year-on-year to $2.4 million.
"We exceeded our guidance in the first quarter as we continued to leverage our vertically integrated film distribution business model to execute our growth strategies," said Yu Dong, the company's founder and chief executive officer.
The first Chinese film company to list on the Nasdaq reported net revenue of $19.3 million for the three months ended March 31, a year-on-year increase of 146.7 percent from $7.8 million.
Revenue from film distribution reached $11 million, including sales from distributing films overseas - 4 million yuan ($615,600), which accounted for 57 percent of the total revenue.
"In the first quarter, we completed principal photography on three film projects and distributed four films, which is in line with our goal of distributing between 16 and 20 high-quality films by the end of this year," Yu said.
Those four films grossed about 430 million yuan in box office receipts, accounting for 16 percent of the total domestic box office gains for the period.
Bona's theatre business contributed 24.2 percent to total revenue, with a gain of $4.7 million. Film production contributed 18 percent.
Figures from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television showed that the Chinese film industry earned a record 10.17 billion yuan in box office receipts in 2010, up 64 percent year-on-year. It is expected to reach 20 billion yuan by the end of 2012, according to the Entgroup Consulting Group, a leading Chinese research and consulting company, which specializes in the entertainment industry.
Bona distributed 13 films in 2010, taking up 9 percent of the total domestic box office receipts, and anticipates that the figure will rise to 15 percent, sustained on a yearly basis.
The company aims to own 30 to 40 movie theatres in principal cities nationwide by a process of acquisition and construction, and will expand its distribution network to cover 300 cinemas by the end of 2014.
"Our strong fundamentals and favorable macro trends, such as the rise in disposable income, the low penetration rate of cinemas in China and the growing demand for high-quality movies, will help us develop our business," said Yu.
The company will also set up production companies overseas to establish a better partnership with film makers Hollywood.
"The first one will be located in Los Angeles sometime this year," said Yu.