Lionsgate revealed as part of its third-quarter earnings for its fiscal 2023 the company “quietly” cut about 150 employees, or 10 percent of its staff.
The layoffs were spread out across the last two quarters, not during fiscal Q3 alone, a person with knowledge of the reductions told IndieWire. The cuts were across all of Lionsgate and not focused on one particular business unit.
Lionsgate CFO Jimmy Barge snuck the news in during his response to a media analyst’s question about how the company is managing corporate costs ahead of a planned spin off of either Starz or the Lionsgate studio. The separation of businesses is still on track for September, Barge said. The cuts came through restructurings and managing open positions, Barge said, which would help with managing costs across the board and also benefit the companies upon their separation.
“With regards to leverage, we’re in a very good position, you saw we de-levered a full turn this last quarter, and we’re in a good position to further de-lever. In terms of overall cost and corporate overhead, I would just note, we have quietly reduced our workforce by approximately 150 full time employees, or approximately 10 percent of our workforce,” Barge said on a Thursday conference call. “We’ve done this through restructurings and managing open positions, so that bodes well as we go into ’24 for continuing to manage costs across the board, including programming spend, marketing, and G&A, so that will benefit the companies in separation.”
Earnings-wise, Lionsgate had a strong Q3, smashing Wall Street expectations and posting revenue of $1 billion; the company reported earnings of 26 cents per share. Part of the record-revenue surge came from the licensing of Lionsgate’s film and TV library, specifically “Schitt’s Creek,” as well as older films and shows to AVOD streamers.
Lionsgate in the quarter sold a partial interest in StarzPlay Arabia for $43 million in cash. However, Lionsgate did report a subscriber loss at Starz, about 700,000 globally for the quarter, with many of those being domestic subscribers. Still, shares of the company have risen in after-market trading by over 5 percent.
Lionsgate should be poised for a big year, with the upcoming releases of “John Wick Chapter 4,” a new “Hunger Games” prequel, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” and an “Expendables” film all on the horizon. And in the past quarter six Lionsgate TV series have been renewed. The studio also announced on the call the return of the Starz series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”
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