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25 November 2019

Chief executive Mark Browning outlines ambitions as factual indie group reports 14% turnover growth

Zinc Media has reported a 14% growth in turnover as it unveils a four-point transformation plan under newly-installed chief executive Mark Browning.

The factual group, which owns indies including Tern TV, Brook Lapping and Reef Television, generated revenues of £24.6m for the 12-months to 30 June, up £3m from the previous year’s £21.6m.

Adjusted EBITDA was £130,000, down from £500,000, and operating loss was £2.5m, driven by a number of exceptional items including an impairment related to its communications division.

Out-of-London revenues were up by a third and international commissions account for one-fifth of TV revenues.

Zinc flagged the group’s debut SVoD commission – a four-part series for Love Nature from Blakeway, dubbed Wild Tales From The Farm.

Browning joined to head up the business earlier this year and has installed a new board that includes chair Christopher Satterthwaite and former ITV legal chief Andrew Garard, who helped oversee significant M&A activity for the commercial broadcaster.

Former ITN Productions managing director Browning has set out a four-part “transformation plan” for Zinc which prioritises:

  • Improvement in the gross margins of television production
  • Revenue growth and diversification
  • Cultural and creative renewal
  • Investment in operational excellence

Browning identified the next 12-months as a transition year for Zinc to address its “profitability challenge”.

He added: “We now have good visibility of the issues within the group and know where improvements need to be made. We will focus on diversifying and growing our revenue within TV and non-TV, improving margins and building cultural and operational excellence.”

Sattherthwaite described it as a “pivotal time” for the group, which is “embarking on a far-reaching transformation plan to capitalise on its market opportunity and grow the business, in the longer term, into a significant content creation company”.