Home Estate Planning Aardman: New Wallace and Gromit film helps create almost 100 UK jobs at animation studio

Aardman: New Wallace and Gromit film helps create almost 100 UK jobs at animation studio

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The up-coming Wallace and Gromit film helped create almost 100 jobs at stop-motion animation studio Aardman.

The production of the film as well as the now completed Chicken Run sequel saw the studio’s headcount increase from 351 to 447 in 2022, its delayed accounts have revealed.

The results for the year were due to be published on Companies House by the end of 2023 but were more than a month overdue. Its accounts for 2023 are due to be filed by the end of September 2024.

The filings show that the Bristol-based studio increased its core staff from 116 to 137 and project-related freelancers from 235 to 310 to help with the largest-scale productions.

During the year Aardman also completed Lloyd of the Files, the company’s first end-to-end CG series produced in-house, as well as I Am Your Mother, a collaboration with Lucasfilm.

According to its accounts for 2022, Aardman’s turnover increased from £24.9m to £31.7m while its pre-tax profits nudged up slightly from £1.4m to £1.5m.

Aardman completed production on its Chicken Run sequel during the year.

A statement signed off by the board said: “The directors set a rolling five-year plan and budget and are confident of profitable financial performance in carrying out its principal activities.”

It added: “During 2022 the company continued to be affected by coronavirus, although not to the same extent as the previous two years, eventually resulting in the strict Covid protocols being relaxed in the latter part of the year.

“Commercials revenue dropped significantly compared to last year and, despite not achieving budget, contributed a meaningful overall profit.

“While games and interactive revenues rose significantly compared to last year, overall profit contribution continued to be marginal as diversification and investment in building strategic partnerships advanced.

“Distribution income continued to be strong, driven mainly by content sales of ‘Shaun’ but also ‘Wallace and Gromit – Classics’ and ‘Timmy’ exceeded budget.

“Third party distribution performed well, despite some continued delivery delays.

“Royalties received on previously released feature films exceeded budget, including income against a previously written off project.

“Live events, attractions and exhibitions activity began to pick up following a few pandemic-affected years and contributed a healthy profit.”

Aardman’s accounts also show that its overheads increased significantly compared to 2021 and hit a new record.

The company said that was mainly because increases in labour costs due to pay increments, a higher headcount and lower charging of staff time to jobs in production.

Aardman’s UK turnover increased from £8.5m to £9.6m but fell from £11.3m to £3.3m in the European Union and from £2.2m to £1.8m in the rest of the world. However, its revenue surged from £2.7m to £16.9m in the USA.

The accounts come after reports emerged in November 2023 that Aardman was running out of clay and only been left with enough for one more feature film after the manufacturers of its favourite material closed down.

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