Kids & family drive Thunderbird revenue growth

The Canadian prodco said Atomic Cartoons, which was in production on 14 projects in Q2, was primarily responsible for the revenue uptick.
March 2, 2020

Growth in kids and family continues to be the main revenue driver for publicly traded Canadian prodco Thunderbird.

On Friday, the Vancouver-based company reported overall revenues of US$10.6 million (CAD$14.2 million), up from US$8.7 million (CAD$11.6 million), the year prior. Overall revenue in the first half of fiscal 2020 climbed to US$23.4 million (CAD$31.3 million), from US$19.4 million (CAD$26 million) the year prior. As with prior quarters, Thunderbird said growth at Atomic Cartoons, which opened an LA studio earlier this year, was the reason for the revenue uptick.

Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA fell to US$600,000 (CAD$800,000), from US$1.1 million (CAD$1.5 million) in Q2 of the previous year, which it attributed to the timing of revenue recognition of an animation series, as well as a number of distribution contracts in Q2 2019 that had no comparable in the most recent quarter. Consolidated net losses were US$1 million (CAD$1.4 million) for the quarter, compared to net losses of US$4.5 million (CAD$6.1 million) a year ago.

During an investor call on Monday, Thunderbird CEO Jennifer Twiner McCarron said the Atomic Cartoons was in production on 14 animated TV series during the second quarter, including Hello Ninja (pictured) for Netflix, Molly of Denali for WGBH/ PBS KIDS and CBC, 101 Dalmatian Street for Disney+and LEGO: Jurassic World for NBCUniversal.

Atomic will also be providing the animation for a new Netflix and Spin Master CG-animated series Mighty Express (52 x 11 minute). Debuting in September, the show hails from British writer and producer Keith Chapman, who also created PAW Patrol.

Outside of its animation business, Thunderbird premiered four proprietary series in January: Kim’s Convenience (CBC), High Arctic Haulers (Discovery Canada), Heavy Rescue: 401 (Discovery Canada) and $ave My Reno (HGTV Canada), with the latter receiving a season-four renewal last month.

Elsewhere in the quarter, Thunderbird said it paid down the remaining US$1 million (CAD$1.4 million) of a three-year non-revolving term loan that it initially drew in July 2018 in the amount of US$4.5 million (CAD$6 million).

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