22 OCTOBER 1937, Page 58



THE annual general meeting of the Gaumont-British Picture Corpora- tion, Ltd., was held on October 15th at the New Gallery Kinema, Regent Street, W. Mr. Isidore Ostrer (the Chairman) said that the profits derived during the year from earnings of directly owned theatres and the Income received from their theatre-owning subsidiary and allied' companies amounted to £561,702, a reduction of £153,812; as com- pared with last year, due to reduced earnings of their'film printing. laboratory and to the absence of income, from their film production and distribution departments.

The losses on production and distribution could be attributed to the fact that America had made no real contribution to the cost of any of the company's films. In common with all other British producers' of quality films, and probably any films, they had to meet the fact that for British film companies to obtain revenue from America was an entirely different proposition from American film companies Obtaining revenue from Britain. They had therefore decided to cease production at Shepherd's Bush and consolidate their position. They had entered into an agreement with General Film Distribu- tors, Ltd. providing for the distribution of their films. They were provided with a large guarantee in respect of a number, and on the released films they had already received back the full amount at which those films had been taken into their books at March 31st last.

They had provided in the accounts for a net loss of £566,809, a figure arrived at after taking into account the special reserve created last year of £200,000.

The agreement with General Film Distributors provided for the production of a limited number of British feature films on terms which included the provision by General Film Distributors of half the cost of ptoduction, and distribution on terms excep- tionally advantageous to the Corporation. General Film Distributors, Ltd., also undertook the distribution of the feature films controlled by the Corporation and the distribution of the Gaumont-British News Reel and had leased the film printing laboratory.

The profit for the year amounted to £561,702, and after various appropriations had been made there was a total of unappropriated profit of £163,484. To that had been added by transfer from reserve £435,278, making £598,762, of which £566,809 had been required to meet the balance of the production and distribution losses. In regard to the prospects for the current year, he had every reason to believe that their profits would be considerably higher than the profit of £561,702 for the year under review.

The report was adopted by a large majority on a show of hands.