Star Wars and Bond boost profits at Pinewood studios

Filming on the latest Star Wars and James Bond films has helped lift profits at movie studio Pinewood Group.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, starring Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, was made at Pinewood. Picture: David James/Lucasfilm

Unveiling its full-year results, the firm also said the slide in sterling following the Brexit vote would give it a boost.

Revenues for the year to the end of March grew 10.9 per cent to £83.2 million, while operating profit leapt 136.3 per cent to £13.6m.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens and James Bond’s latest incarnation in Spectre, both filmed at its studios, saw the firm cash in on two of the largest-grossing movies of last year.

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Britain’s exit from the European Union will be “largely mitigated” as its most significant customers are US based, Pinewood said.

Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy told investors: “The result of the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU is now known. In the context of our business, the decline in the sterling exchange rate is undoubtedly positive for our international customers.”

Dunleavy also said that five new sound stages are now operational, meaning its Buckinghamshire site has the capacity to take on two more blockbusters a year.

In February, Pinewood hired Rothschild to conduct a strategic review, which could conclude with the firm’s sale for more than £250m. Pinewood today noted that the review was “ongoing”.

Pinewood Studios, Shepperton Studios and Pinewood Studio Wales together accommodate 40 stages and three dedicated digital television studios. The company can boast Europe’s only studio-based underwater filming stage, as well as one of the largest exterior water tanks in Europe.