Record year for Xilam prompts ambitious growth plans

A stronger grip on international markets and momentum behind its original content pipeline will put the French animation house on strong footing in the coming years, the company says

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 28.03.2019 | Watch

Record year for Xilam prompts ambitious growth plans thumbnail

Revenue hit a record high at Xilam Animation for the year ended 31 December 2018, growing 16 per cent to €28m thanks to continued momentum in its international business and strong uptake of new productions.

Operating profit hit €9.7m, an increase of more than a third on the same period in 2017. Fresh content, including the latest seasons of Xilam staples Oggy and the Cockroaches and Zig and Sharko, as well as brand-new productions Parika and the Mr Magoo reboot, accounted for 65 per cent of total sales, making the French animation studio €18.2m, a double-digit increase. Sales from its catalogue represented the remaining 35 per cent, €9.7m in revenue.

Chairman and CEO Marc du Pontavice says new productions will continue to be the driver behind Xilam’s growth. The arrival of major new streaming platforms from the likes of Disney, Apple and Warner will futher deepen the pool of investment capital for original productions, a resource Marc says the company is “is particularly well placed to take advantage of “.

“In addition, we are actively working to diversify the revenue from our brands,” he adds.

As well as more investment from international powerhouses, Xilam has enjoyed increased demand for its series from outside its domestic market. The majority of sales (64 per cent) were in international territories, a contribution that continues to rise.

Between now and 2020, Xilam has plotted an ambitious growth strategy focused on strengthening its most profitable business strands – namely new content – and pushing further into emerging markets like China and India. The animator will increase output of original IP and up the speed with which it can pump out new seasons for proven winners, balanced on a foundation of steady catalogue sales.

Pre-school will play a key role in the plan. Xilam hopes to exploit as yet untapped potential with its properties for licensed merchandise and monetisation through educational and electronic gaming. It will also look to pad out its internal talent pool through acquisitions of ‘boutique studios and talent collectives’.

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