UPDATE 2-James Bond studio Pinewood sees 3D boom lifting sales

* Sees FY10 sales ahead of market expectations

* Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S FY10 rev est 42.2 mln stg

* H1 pretax profit 1.5 mln stg vs 1.7 mln stg

* Raises dividend by 5 pct to 1.10p

* Shares up 3.2 pct
(Recasts; adds CEO comments)

By Tresa Sherin Morera

BANGALORE, Aug 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Film studios Pinewood
Shepperton Plc (PWS.L: ) expects overall sales for 2010 to exceed
market expectations, as several movie makers switch to 3D
format, reflecting strong demand from cinema lovers.

The company’s bright sales outlook should ease some of the
pressure on current Chairman Michael Grade who has faced calls
to step down from shareholder Crystal Amber. [ID:nLDE65S0NA]

On Tuesday, activist investment fund Crystal Amber said it
raised its stake in Pinewood to just over 27 percent, becoming
its largest shareholder.

The firm, which provided studios for British classics such
as the ‘Bond’ films and the ‘Carry On’ series, also said it
started the second half well on new business wins, even as it
posted a lower first-half profit due to certain production
delays. [ID:nSGE64B090]

“I am quite pleased we had that delay, a number of our film
customers were deciding to (shoot), or change to shooting their
production in 3D…It is a longer production process and that
should be good and positive news for us,” Chief Executive Ivan
Dunleavy told Reuters.

The 3D film business has burgeoned since director James
Cameron’s “Avatar” became the highest-grossing movie of all
time.

Productions like ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’,
‘Hugo Cabret’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’ have also decided to
film in 3D, the company said in a statement.

WORLD CUP HURTS

Pinewood, which has hosted over 600 TV shows, said its
first-half television sales were hit after spend on network
programmes on the main five channels and BBC digital channels
continued to fall.

Domestic television production spend was further impacted
by the decision of ITV (ITV.L: ) and BBC to finance World Cup
programme coverage, the company said.

January-June pretax profit for the group was 1.5 million
pounds ($2.3 million), compared with 1.7 million pounds last
year. Total revenues for the first half fell 6 percent to 19.0
million pounds.

The company, whose studios have been home to over 1,500
films in the last 75 years, also raised its interim dividend by
5 percent to 1.10 pence.

Pinewood shares, which have gained 28 percent since the
start of the year, were up 3.2 percent at 178 pence at 1113 GMT
on the London Stock Exchange.
($1=.6490 Pound)
(Reporting by Tresa Sherin Morera in Bangalore; Editing by
Aradhana Aravindan)

UPDATE 2-James Bond studio Pinewood sees 3D boom lifting sales