The latest: Filmed entertainment maker Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. (1060.HK) reported Wednesday that revenue for its fiscal year through March fell 4% to 3.52 billion yuan ($495 million). It recorded a net loss of 291 million yuan for the period, reversing a 170 million yuan profit a year earlier.

Looking up: The company said that China’s total box office revenue during the Lunar New Year in 2023 reached pre-pandemic levels as the cultural and entertainment industry recovered with the end of China’s strict Covid controls. It added it will continue to strengthen its “content + technology” strategy to seize post-pandemic opportunities.

Take Note: The company’s revenue from film and drama series content declined 12.2% to 1.71 billion in its latest fiscal year due to pandemic disruptions, including theater closures, while revenue from its technology segment was flat at 1.27 billion.

Digging Deeper: Formerly known as ChinaVision Media Group, Alibaba Pictures was founded in 2009 and listed through a reverse takeover the same year, before being acquired by Alibaba (BABA.US; 9988.HK) in 2014. The company lost money for many years after its inception, but benefited from strong demand for home-based cultural entertainment during much of the Covid pandemic. It participated in the production and distribution of 44 films, and recorded its first-ever profit in its 2021-22 fiscal year. But the company suffered losses in its latest fiscal year due to stringent control measures implemented in several major cities as China tried to control the spread of the highly contagious Omicron Covid variant.

Market Reaction: Shares of Alibaba Pictures rose on Thursday, closing up 1.3% at HK$0.405. The stock now trades near the lower end of its 52-week range.

Translation by Jony Ho

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