At Corus Entertainment Inc.’s (TSX: CJR.B; NYSE: CJR) Annual General Meeting today, the company confirmed its commitment to its vertical integration strategy and the importance of owning content. Corus outlined its action plan to position Nelvana as a key component of the company’s overall business strategy and announced the appointment of Doug Murphy to Executive Vice President, Business Development for Nelvana.
“Despite our recent moves to reduce the production slate and size of our Nelvana studio, content remains a critical part of our business strategy,” said John Cassaday, President and CEO of Corus Entertainment. “The traditional business model of selling ads and collecting subscriptions will continue to support our growth in the short term, but in the long term Nelvana ensures our relevance as new technologies emerge that need content. It diversifies our revenue sources, gives us important access to international growth opportunities and is a critical greenhouse for the development of the next big television hit. With the addition to the Nelvana team of someone of Doug Murphy’s calibre, we’re confident that we will develop new revenue streams and strengthen the value of our world-class brands.”
As Executive Vice President, Business Development for Nelvana, Murphy will oversee all of Nelvana’s sales, marketing, merchandising, music, and publishing activities. He has over 10 years of experience in senior positions with The Walt Disney Company in North America and abroad, with a proven track record in business development and revenue growth. Murphy will report to Paul Robertson, newly appointed as President of Nelvana, in addition to his role as President of Corus Television.
Corus executives also used the AGM to provide shareholders with guidance on their outlook for fiscal ’03. “We are in an excellent position to deliver a strong performance this year,” said Heather Shaw, Executive Chair of Corus Entertainment. “Our management team effectively implemented a plan to reduce our debt, drive our industry-leading margins in radio and television even further, and concentrate on the operating performance of our core assets by divesting of non-core properties.”
“This year, we will build on our impressive three-year history of growth which has seen Corus’ compound annual revenue grow by 59% and EBITDA growth of 47%,” added Tom Peddie, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “During one of the most difficult markets the media and entertainment sector has seen, we have had remarkably strong operating performances from two of our three operating divisions and we’re confident that the recent changes we have made at Nelvana will kick-start a turnaround for that unit.”
The company announced that it expects EBITDA growth of at least 10% in both its Television and Radio operations which is consistent with the long- term plan of 10-15% CAGR. Corus will also eliminate all cash burn by Nelvana in the year, bringing it to a cash flow neutral position by year-end.
“We believe that Corus has the strongest collection of assets in Canada and they compare with the best in the world,” added Cassaday. “We’ve put strong management into key decision-making positions, we’ve reduced our debt and set achievable goals for our operating divisions in ‘F03. We have good reasons to feel positive about the future of Corus Entertainment.”
Corus Entertainment is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and Radio. Corus also owns Nelvana Limited, an internationally recognized producer and distributor of children’s programming and products. The Company’s other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus’ Web site can be found at www.corusentertainment.com.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The results or events predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current expectations include, among other things: our ability to attract and retain advertising revenues; audience acceptance of our television programs and cable networks; our ability to recoup production costs, the availability of tax credits and the existence of co-production treaties; our ability to compete in
any of the industries in which we do business; the opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to and pursued by us; conditions in the entertainment, information and communications industries and technological developments therein; changes in laws or regulations or the interpretation or application of those laws and regulations; our ability to integrate and realize anticipated benefits from our acquisitions and to effectively manage our growth; and, changes in accounting standards.
Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this report are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, us. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, we disclaim any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, events or circumstances that arise after the date thereof or otherwise.
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President and Chief Executive Officer
Corus Entertainment Inc.
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Corus Entertainment Inc.
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Corus Entertainment Inc.