British studio owner PINEWOOD SHEPPERTON has blamed Hollywood movie bosses for its massive slump in profits.

The firm - which owns the complexes that played host to the James Bond series - claims big-budget films are delaying their visits to the UK amid fears over tax relief on projects costing more than $28.5 million (GBP15 million).

Revenues from renting out Pinewood Shepperton's 34 sound stages in the first half of this year (05) are forecast to be "substantially" lower than the equivalent figures 12 months ago.

However, Pinewood chiefs are hoping a new British tax code - which aims to offer relief to both Hollywood producers and small, independent firms - coupled with the outstanding service on offer will rescue the studio from closure.

IVAN DUNLEAVY, chief executive of Pinewood Shepperton, says, "We have a market-leading position in Europe in servicing film and the UK has some unique competitive advantages.

"We have the capacity to service a large number of films at any point in time and we have a quality of service that is unmatched outside of Hollywood. I don's see any longterm issues in (demand)."

22/03/2005 13:40