Shaun the Sheep and Co. Boost Aardman Revenues
The West of England Initiative members, Aardman, has seen an increase in revenues in results due to the latest Shaun the Sheep film along with new online episodes of Morph.
The Bristol-based animation studio said it had commercially achieved its “highest turnover since 2010”, with the majority of the income generated from within the UK and a tenth from North America.
The news is also accompanied by the recent acquisition of a majority stake in New York animation studio, Nathan Love by Aardman.
The new Nathan Love facility is Aardman’s first production studio outside the UK, which further establishes its “commitment to its advertising business”.
Aardman’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2014, turnover rose to £23.5m from £18.7m. Of this, £7.7m was attributed to feature film activities with £15.8m from its other operations.
During the year, the average number of staff employed per month rose as well to 246 from 2014; this was mostly the result of project related freelancers.
The company’s feature film that was produced through 2014 was Shaun the Sheep: The Movie ahead of its release in February 2015.
Income from previously released titles including Pirates!, Arthur Christmas and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit was also said to be “declining but, again, meaningful during the year”.
Aardman said the division “continues to fund the slate of feature film projects from internal cash resources” with projects in development including Early Man, the latest from founder Nick Park.
Its broadcast arm produced 15 new one-minute episodes of Morph on Youtube with half the funding for the project from a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The company added that its digital division “again made a positive contribution” to its results while its rights division “performed well” thanks to the continued success of Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Gromit.