Conference Call Scheduled for October 22 at 9 a.m. ET
Proven proprietary Intellectual Property (IP) acquisition and development strategy demonstrated through the building of global brands including Highway Thru Hell (100th episode), Kim’s Convenience (Season 4) and The Last Kids on Earth (NYT Bestseller)
Strong growth in the core business: Kids and Family and Factual Divisions
Decision to eliminate low margin, non-core business results in revenue decrease to $61.5 million (F2018: $142 million), while EBITDA margin increases from 7% to 17%
One-time non-cash go public charge of $5.3 million impacts net earnings
Vancouver, Canada, October 21, 2019 — Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV:TBRD) (Thunderbird or the Company), today announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019 (“Fiscal 2019”), and provided a corporate update.
“2019 has been a year of incredible transformation and growth across Thunderbird, as the Company has made tough yet strategic decisions to ensure it is well positioned to deliver higher-budget, higher margin, premium-quality productions that will enhance the value of our content library,” said Jennifer Twiner McCarron, Chief Executive Officer, Thunderbird Entertainment. “We look to the future with excitement as we further establish Thunderbird as a preferred content creator and supplier for the world’s leading Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms, by expanding our Company-wide strategy of acquiring, partnering, and building iconic IP and brands. We also recognize that our people are the foundation of Thunderbird’s success, and we remain dedicated to attracting, enabling and retaining the very best talent to continue our industry leading trajectory.”
“As we look forward to 2020, I am thrilled at the opportunities before us. Thunderbird is poised to build momentum, building off the Company’s track record of strong IP development and ownership witnessed in its Factual Division,” said Brian Paes-Braga, Chair, Thunderbird Entertainment. “Jenn, and her entire team, are ready to execute on our robust pipeline of shows in development. With shows like The Last Kids on Earth, Highway Thru Hell, and Kim’s Convenience, Thunderbird is becoming a widely acknowledged leader in IP development and ownership along with being a dependable, go to partner for some of the world’s largest media companies. It’s an exciting time to be in content development, and a Thunderbird shareholder. This is just the beginning.”
Financial Highlights for the Three and Twelve Months Ended June 30, 2019
|Summary of results for June 30, 2019||
Three months ended
Twelve months ended
|Adjusted EBITDA 1||$||(0.4)||$||10.3|
Results for the year ended June 30, 2019 compared to the year ended June 30, 2018:
|For the three months ended||For the year ended|
|($000’s, except per share data)||June 30, 2019||June 30, 2018||June 30, 2019||June 30, 2018|
|Net (loss) income from continuing operations||(1,096)||(237)||(3,820)||3,361|
|Loss from discontinued operations||–||(139)||–||(46)|
|Foreign currency translation adjustment||30||(2)||(5)||(89)|
|Comprehensive net (loss) income for the year attributable to owners of the parent||$||(1,066)||$||(378)||$||(3,834)||$||3,226|
|Basic earnings per share – continuing operations||$||(0.024)||$||(0.021)||$||(0.106)||$||0.061|
|Diluted earnings per share – continuing operations||$||(0.024)||$||(0.021)||$||(0.106)||$||0.049|
|Basic earnings per share – discontinued operations||$||–||$||(0.005)||$||–||$||(0.002)|
|Diluted earnings per share – discontinued operations||$||–||$||(0.005)||$||–||$||(0.002)|
|1 Expenses includes a non-cash charge related to Public company listing of $5,316 in the year ended June 30, 2019.|
- On October 30, 2018, the Company completed the acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of a private company, Thunderbird Entertainment Inc. (“TEI”), through a reverse takeover transaction (the “RTO Transaction”). The Company is considered to be a continuation of TEI with the net assets of the Company at the date of the RTO Transaction deemed to have been acquired by TEI. The RTO Transaction was approved by the TSX Venture Exchange and the Resulting Issuer (renamed Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.) commenced trading on November 2, 2018 under the ticker symbol “TBRD”.
- Prior to the RTO Transaction TEI completed a brokered private placement financing of 5,125,000 subscription receipts at a price of $2.00 per subscription receipt for aggregate gross proceeds of $10.25 million. On October 30, 2018, each subscription receipt was exchanged for one post-consolidation common share of the Resulting Issuer. Concurrent with the brokered private placement, TEI raised an additional $2.25 million by the issuance of 8% convertible debentures that were converted into common shares at a price of $2.00 per share upon completion of the RTO Transaction.
- During the year ending June 30, 2019, the Company paid down $4.6 million of a $6 million three-year non-revolving term loan drawn in July 2018. The term loan was drawn in order to repurchase common shares of certain shareholders of TEI on an accretive basis and was part of an overall credit facility negotiated with the Royal Bank of Canada that also included an increased production line of credit and an acquisition facility.
- The Company adopted and implemented IFRS 15, Revenue from contracts with customers, which established a new comprehensive framework on revenue recognition. Under IFRS 15, the Company has determined that licensing and distribution revenue should be recognized at the later of the start date of the license term and the satisfaction of the contractual performance obligations. Previously, licensing revenue was recognized at the earlier date of delivery when certain conditions were met.
- Consolidated revenue for the three months and year ended June 30, 2019 was $13.7 million and $61.5 million as compared to $11.4 million and $142.4 million for the comparative periods of fiscal 2018, an increase of $2.3 million and a decrease of $80.9 million respectively. The majority of the annual decrease ($69.6 million) was related to the Company’s decision in fiscal 2018 to not renew its multi season service agreement to produce the live action television series The Man in the High Castle. Although the series generated significant revenues, the profit margins were small and management decided to re-direct valuable corporate resources to the creation of owned IP programming and other core operations. The remainder of the year end decrease was related to a large budget proprietary television series for ABC Network which was completed and delivered by the Company in fiscal There was no comparative series completed in fiscal 2019 and therefore this resulted in a decrease in revenues of $21.6 million. These decreases were partially offset by increases in both the animation and factual divisions. A portion of the fourth quarter revenue increase over the comparative quarter in 2018 related to growth in the animation division.
- Consolidated net loss was $1.0 million and $3.8 million for the three months and year ending June 30, 2019, compared to net loss of $0.4 million and net income of $3.2 million for the comparative periods of fiscal 2018, and a decrease of $0.6 million and $7.0 million respectively. During the year, the Company incurred a one-time charge of $5.3 million relating to the RTO Transaction. This non-cash charge represented the difference between the net assets acquired and the fair value of the Golden Secret shares, options and warrants that were exchanged. Other differences relate to both one-time and recurring public company costs, an increase in capital amortization (due to animation expansion) and an increase in share based compensation. These decreases were offset by growth in both the animation and factual division.
- Adjusted EBITDA was ($0.3 million) and $10.3 million for the three months and year ending June 30, 2019, compared to $1.2 million and $10.1 million for the comparative periods of fiscal 2018, a decrease of $1.5 million and an increase of $0.2 million, respectively. The quarterly decrease was due to timing differences with recognition of revenue in the factual division. The year-over-year increase was due to growth in the animation and factual divisions, offset partially by decreases due to public company costs.
The Company’s audited annual financial statements along with its Management’s Discussion and Analysis for Financial Year End June 2019 are available on the Company’s website at http://www.thunderbird.tv and under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com.
Media Industry Trends
- Inspired by Netflix, new entrants like Disney, Apple and NBCUniversal are developing extensive direct-to-consumer relationships by offering premium quality subscription-based streaming services and video on demand (SVOD)
- Thunderbird welcomes these new and current expanding SVOD players. Content budgets are being established and growing, creating significant opportunities for high quality content producers – 2019 estimates are: Disney: $24 billion, Netflix: $15 billion, NBC Universal: $13 billion, and Apple: $6 billion.
- Smart devices are quickly becoming primary viewing vehicles amongst Millennials.
- In 2019, streaming TV surpassed traditional cable TV for the first time in history.
- Toy manufacturer Hasbro’s intent to purchase Entertainment One – the company behind the popular children’s animated show Peppa Pig as well as many other properties, such as Ricky Zoom and PJ Masks – for $4 billion demonstrates expanding interest in the entertainment industry.
Thunderbird’s 2019 Transformation Highlights
- Company remained laser-focused on generating long term value through the expansion of its content library and its owned or controlled IP.
- Throughout fiscal 2019, 134.5 half hours of owned-IP were delivered collectively from the Factual, Scripted, and Kids and Family Divisions.
- The Company strategically moved away from productions with high top line revenue yet smaller profit margins, to concentrate on premium content from its expanding client base, which includes Disney+, Nickelodeon, PBS and NBCUniversal, among others.
- Strategic business decisions resulted in a short-term revenue decrease of 57%, however EBITDA margins are up from 7% to 17%.
- In line with the Company’s growth and development plan, subsequent to the year-end, the Company delivered its largest ever fall lineup, with eight productions premiering across multiple platforms, including deals with partners like Netflix, PBS/WGBH, Discovery Channel and Disney+.
- The Ottawa production hub continues to experience impressive growth and attract leading talent.
- By adding the Ottawa studio, the Company demonstrated its ability to scale infrastructure to service the oncoming OTT and SVOD wave. By June 2020, the Ottawa studio anticipates it will employ 150 people. The Vancouver studio currently employs 550 animators.
- During the fourth quarter, the Company had 14 programs in various stages of production, and deals with Netflix, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, PBS, WGBH, Bell Media’s Discovery, APTN, Corus Entertainment and the CBC, among others.
- Subsequent to the year-end, Brian Paes–Braga was appointed Chair of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Kids & Family Division, Atomic Cartoons, Continues to Produce Premium Content and Expand Company’s Strong Library of Children’s Programming
- During the quarter, the Company was in various stages of production on nine animated television programs; these series reflect a blend of both proprietary and service-based productions, including The Last Kids on Earth(IP), and the following service-based productions: Hello Ninja, Molly of Denali, LEGO Jurassic World, Marvel Superhero Adventures, 101 Dalmatian Street, Curious George: Royal Monkey, and Incredible Ant among others.
- Subsequent to the year-end, the Company’s IP-owned series, The Last Kids on Earth began streaming September 17, 2019 on Netflix, and the Company announced a video game inspired by the series that will launch in 2021. Book five of The Last Kids on Earth series was published alongside the September release, and is #2 on The New York Times bestseller list. This is in addition to a worldwide merchandise line that will be launched in 2020.
- In conjunction with Netflix, Hello Ninja was announced and will premiere on the streaming platform in November 2019.This animated production reflects the Company’s strategy to develop top quality children’s book series that have a built-in fan base.
- Further demonstrating the Company’s dedication to telling diverse stories, Molly of Denalipremiered subsequent to the year end on PBS/WGBH in the United States and CBC in Canada. During the first two weeks of its US premiere, Molly of Denali was among the top five most streamed programs across PBS KIDS digital platforms, with 27.4 million streams.
- A feature-length animated film, Curious George: Royal Monkey, was delivered to Universal 1440 Entertainment, the original content production arm of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and Imagine Entertainment.
Factual Division, Great Pacific Media, A Stalwart for Strong Performance in the Factual Category
- During the quarter, Thunderbird’s factual division was in production on four shows: Highway Thru Hell (Season 8), Heavy Rescue: 401 (Season 4), Worst to First (Season 2), and High Arctic Haulers (season 1).
- Subsequent to the year end, the Company delivered the 100th episode of Highway Thru Hell to Discovery Canada. Highway Thru Hell is available in more than 200 territories worldwide, in a dozen languages. Season eight consists of 17 episodes and began airing on October 7, 2019. Production of its 9th season was announced in October 2019 and will feature the largest number of episodes in the series’ history. Highway Thru Hell is the top-rated series on Discovery Canada.
- The Company also delivered the second season of the lifestyle series $ave My Reno to HGTV Canada, which was comprised of fourteen episodes. The series continues to be a ratings success on the network.
- During the quarter, seven of ten episodes of Worst to First (Season 2) were delivered and began airing in May 2019 on HGTV Canada.
- With the launch of its UK Division, Thunderbird further demonstrated its commitment to producing premium factual content.
Thunderbird Scripted Continues to Attract Audiences Globally
- Season 3 of Kim’s Convenience was delivered in the 2019 fiscal year, and during the fourth quarter, the Company was in production on the fourth season of the award-winning comedy series.
- Kim’s Convenience airs on CBC in Canada and is available on Netflix worldwide. The show has worldwide distribution through a mix of streaming, cable and VOD partnerships, including in Asia.
- The hit series was recognized as the Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year Award by the Seoul Drama Awards 2019 in South Korea.
Investor Relations Contract
Thunderbird has entered into an investor relations services agreement (the “IR Agreement”) with Proactive Investors Canada (“Proactive”), of Vancouver, British Columbia. Proactive is a multimedia news organization, investor portal and events management company and operates financial news websites and organizes investor forums. Proactive has no direct or indirect interest in Thunderbird or its securities and has no right to acquire any such interests. Services to be provided by Proactive to Thunderbird include ongoing editorial coverage of Thunderbird’s news releases, preparing interview-based feature articles regarding Thunderbird, including reference to Thunderbird on websites maintained by Proactive, and the promotion of content prepared by Proactive through social media. The IR Agreement has a term of 12 months commencing in [October] 2019 and may be renewed for subsequent 12 month periods. Thunderbird will pay a fee of $20,000 (plus applicable taxes) annually to Proactive for such services. The fees will be paid from Thunderbird’s working capital.
Conference Call Webcast on October 22, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
Thunderbird will hold a conference call and webcast to share the Company’s 2019 fourth quarter and year-end financial results on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 6 a.m. PST/ 9 a.m. EST. A live webcast of the conference call can be accessed by clicking here. The call will be recorded for webcasting purposes and will be available at www.thunderbird.tv two hours after the initial scheduled time.
Q4 & Year-End Conference Call: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 6 a.m. PST/9 a.m. EST
Canadian Dial-In Numbers: (+1) 416 764 8609 (Toronto)
(+1) 778 383 7417 (Vancouver)
North American Toll-Free Number: (+1) 888 390 0605
Conference ID Number: 52347421
Alternatively, you may access a replay of the conference call by calling (+1) 416 764 8677 or toll-free at (+1) 888 390 0541 (passcode 347421 #) two hours after the initial scheduled time.
About Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group is a Vancouver-based global multiplatform entertainment company with offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottawa and London. Thunderbird creates award-winning scripted, unscripted and animated programming for the world’s leading digital platforms, as well as Canadian and International broadcasters. Thunderbird’s vision is to produce high quality, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place. The Company develops, produces and distributes animated, factual and scripted content through its various divisions, including Thunderbird Kids and Family (Atomic Cartoons), Thunderbird Factual (Great Pacific Media) and Thunderbird Productions. Thunderbird also has a division based in the United Kingdom dedicated to establishing partnerships with production companies to develop the Company’s intellectual property (IP) and growth in key international territories. Thunderbird is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @tbirdent. For more information, visit: www.thunderbird.tv
On Behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.
Jennifer Twiner McCarron
Chief Executive Officer
For information on Thunderbird and to subscribe to the Company’s investor list for news updates, go to www.thunderbird.tv. For further information, please contact:
Investor Relations Contacts:
Lucas Cahill and Freddie Leigh
Phone: + 1 604.683.3555
Media Relations Contact:
Julia Smith, Finch Media
Phone: +1 604.803.0897
Neither the TSX-V nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX-V) accepts responsibility of the adequacy or accuracy of this release, which has been prepared by management.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects, and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Company’s objectives, goals or future plans and the business and operations of the Company. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic and social uncertainties; litigation, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; those additional risks set out in the Company’s Filing Statement and other public documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com; and other matters discussed in this news release. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Except where required by law, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
This news release contains references to certain measures that do not have a standardized meaning under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as prescribed by the International Accounting Standards Board and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Rather, these measures are provided as additional information to complement IFRS measures by providing a further understanding of operations from management’s perspective. Accordingly, non-IFRS measures should not be considered in isolation nor as a substitute for analysis of financial information reported under IFRS. The Company believes that non-IFRS measures, specifically EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties as measures of financial performance and to provide supplemental measures of operating performance and thus highlight trends that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on IFRS financial measures.
 IGN: https://ca.ign.com/articles/2019/08/08/disney-outspending-netflix-streaming-original-content-budget
 The Hollywood Reporter https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/netflix-at-a-crossroads-hollywoods-dominant-disrupter-adjusts-growing-pains-1229618
 IGN: https://ca.ign.com/articles/2019/08/08/disney-outspending-netflix-streaming-original-content-budget
 Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/4f7f4326-c2bf-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9
 Open X: 2018 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report: https://www.openx.com/resources/thought-leadership/2018-holiday-consumer-report/
 The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/21/18275670/mpaa-report-streaming-video-cable-subscription-worldwide
 Source: Google Analytics July 2019