EXCLUSIVE: Elisabeth Murdoch, Jane Featherstone and Stacey Snider’s Chernobyl producer Sister has posted a near-$20M loss due to continued disruption caused by the Covid pandemic and expansion investment, with CFO Chris Fry stating that the transatlantic indie has “laid the foundations for future growth.”
In Sister’s full year accounts to December 31 2021, seen by Deadline, the company recorded an adjusted EBITDA of $18.6M, more than double the previous set of accounts’ $7.7M loss, although those accounts are incomparable as they were recorded over an 18-month period.
At $35.9M, revenues were also “significantly lower than expected,” according to the document, which was put down to “the continued impact of Covid and subsequently delays to the production schedule of programmes.”
A number of shows in progress including BBC double This is Going to Hurt and The Split season three, along with Sky/HBO comic horror The Baby, could not be delivered on time due to Covid and, going forwards, Sister hopes to avoid this happening, with virtually all restrictions now lifted. Sister had net assets of $56.8M and cash and cash equivalents of $27M at the end of the year.
The accounts put the EBITDA loss down to “investment in creative and operational staff in the group’s U.S. operations and the buildout of infrastructure alongside the increased losses due to the results of joint ventures and associates,” all of which was in line with the “broader strategic plan.”
Across the year, Sister staffed up in the U.S. as it looks to become equally active on both sides of the pond, hired Fleabag producer Lydia Hampson and I May Destroy You producer Simon Maloney in the UK, and acquired a 40% stake in iconic Camden music venue KoKo.
Coming up next year is the likes of Amazon’s long-awaited The Power adaptation, Netflix Greek mythology thriller Kaos and the same streamer’s Dan Levy romcom Good Grief, BBC drama The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies and Netflix’s much-anticipated Pamela Anderson doc via Dorothy Street Pictures, which Sister took a minority stake in in March 2022.
Sister’s Fry told Deadline “we have laid the foundations for an exciting coming year and future growth,” with “a huge number of new commissions, a slate of anticipated releases, and a global collective of partners.”
“Sister continues to build momentum as a global entertainment group – producing genre-defining, innovative drama, expanding our footprint in the US, and supporting growth across our ecosystem of independent, creator-led startups,” he added. “Patient investment is key to our mission of empowering visionary creators working across all forms of entertainment.”