As we reflect on a world before the Coronavirus, the Palma Pictures’ team found itself working across the usual broad spectrum of content. Helping producers realize their visual stories via traditional TVC spot advertising, print and branded content projects, reality shows, television series and feature films kept us busy, energized and inspired over the course of 2019.
This diversity and breadth of work saw our financial performance continue to build on the successes of previous years. Billings reached a record 63.3M€ (32.85M€), with revenues at 19.38M€ (19.83M€) and EBITDA at 1.83M€ (1.65M€) for the Palma Pictures Media Production Group.
We welcomed production teams from 9 territories to shoot their projects throughout Spain, with units enjoying the varied backdrops of locations in areas such as; Mallorca, Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid, Girona, Malaga, Almeria and Tenerife.
Our staff and freelance crews worked tirelessly over the course of the year to deliver ‘Picture Perfect Service’ to our varied clients. We were delighted to bolster our talent base and made a spate of new hires including; Eli Crego (Co-Head of Production), Lyndsay Fields (Executive Producer – Barcelona), Mar Henche (Senior Business Management Consultant – Tax & Accountancy), Kristyna Podolska (Producer) and Eduardo Rodrigalvarez (Supervising Location Manager) all having joined our team.
As a team we are always looking to better our capabilities and we ran training modules across areas such as; health & safety, stream-lining our production processes and tighter wrap reviews, all in line with our continuous improvement approach. And with our end of year quarterly team satisfaction poll once again reaching a new high since we launched it some years ago.
Film & TV workflows were our strongest to date with drama projects including; Leftbank Pictures / Netflix ‘The Crown – Season 4’, NBC Universal / Amazon ‘Hanna – Season 2’, Leftbank Pictures / Vancouver Media / Netflix ‘White Lines’, Cosmopolitan Pictures / Clerkenwell Films / BBC ‘The Mallorca Files – Season 2’ and ‘The Last Letter From Your Lover’ Blueprint Pictures / Studio Canal, as well as a host of others choosing to shoot against the diverse backdrop of our Spanish locations.
We also continued to take advantage of the 20% national rebate for long form projects helping to make Spain an even more competitive shooting destination, which I am happy to report has been significantly enhanced in 2020 and now offers a 25% rebate up to the new cap of 10M€ local spend (and with 30% for the first 1M€ spend).
We also secured our first co-producing credit for the feature film ‘Off the Rails’, produced by Bill Kenwright Films.
We enjoyed collaborating with the globally successful entertainment formats of ‘Love Island’ for ITV Studios with UK / German versions and ‘Below Deck’ for 51 Minds / Bravo.
In Q1 We launched a dedicated talent agency headed up by our very own David Martinez and with the aim of showcasing the best of our local cast and models to our international client-base.
CSR activities continued apace and we passed our environmental audit for the tenth year running, retaining both our ISO 14001 and EMAS certifications. Other activities included our ongoing support for local charities, with our team once again spending the day assisting the amazing folks of Aspace – a charity dedicated to helping those affected by Cerebral Palsy.
We maintained our annual investment program to keep our studio complex and equipment inventory abreast of ongoing technical innovations in content capture with 500K€ allocated over 2018 / 2019.
We continued to enhance our IT architecture, with improved HR and budgeting software, development and segmentation of our CRM software, the modernization of our casting database and we also began the migration of our locations database to a new and improved portal.
Our mainland offices in Barcelona and Madrid serviced some great TVC work for brands such as ‘Mercedes’, ‘North Western Mutual‘ and ‘Toyota’.
In Q2 we launched our own UK based production company – ‘Palma Pictures Studios’ under the stewardship of our managing partner Trent Walton and have been busy building, what we believe to be, an unmissable development slate of television drama and feature projects.
So, another exciting and action packed twelve months with great teamwork delivering a great result.
It goes without saying that our next report, relating to a 2020 impacted by Covid-19, will no doubt take a different shape, but I will look forward to sharing both our challenges and successes in the next edition of our Palma Pictures Annual Report.
Palma Pictures CEO