At the Martin Group's Annual General Meeting in mid September, the Board of Directors announced expectations for both a positive turnover and profit for the current financial year. The Board also suggested changing the financial year to follow the calendar year with May 1st - December 31st 1999 as a transitional period. This eight month transitional period is expected to show a turnover of approximately $60 million compared to $47 million for the same period last year, with a pre-tax profit around $3.5 million compared to a loss of $3.7 million last year. The result for the period also allows for a $430,000 expense related to the pending lawsuit with Vari-Lite in the US.
The Royal Court Theatre in London's Sloane Square is in the final stages of a massive rebuild programme, costing in the region of nearly £26m. Bristol-based Stage Electrics won the competitive tender to supply and fit the production lighting, sound and communications systems worth around £1million, to a specification originated by the Royal Court and their consultants, Theatre Projects.
In a return to the origins of the company, Lamba has set up KAM Accessories - a joint venture with Penn Fabrications - to market cables, rack accessories and connectors. It has already produced a cost-conscious price list, which includes widgets, as well as other mail-order-type items, not only from the Penn Fabrications range, but other established names such as Neutrik and Bulgin.
Dare Professional Audio has recently appointed Litton Lane Contracts as its distributor in Ireland. Litton Lane kicked off the distribution deal with an installation of Eclipse at Dublin's trendy Zanzibar. Further high profile contracts are pencilled in for Dare in Ireland.
After 12 years of planning, the Dream Factory finally opened its doors officially for the first time last month. The permanent Warwickshire home of the Playbox Theatre, the Dream Factory is the first purpose-built young peoples' theatre in the UK. Sceno Plus, the design arm of Cirque du Soleil, was responsible for the theatre design, the technical aspects of which were put into practice by Northern Light. Lighting is Strand throughout, whilst the sound is simple but effective, with a variety of Crown-powered Martin Audio cabinets, a 24-channel Soundcraft K1, with FOH and backstage paging amps from TOA, and a Baldwin Boxall induction loop system.
GAE Sales UK will no longer distribute GAE Loudspeakers in the UK. MD Peter Barnard was informed by Opal Audio Vertrieb, the holding company for GAE in Germany, that they had taken the decision as a result of a "conflict of interest." As a consequence, Barnard is in the process of changing the trading name of his company and, from November 1st, it will be known as EAG UK (European Audio Group UK). The new distribution arrangements for GAE in the UK are yet to be announced.
Britannia Row Productions has further consolidated its long-standing relationship with Turbosound, with the announcement of the purchase of 48 stacks of Flashlight at this year's PLASA Show. Brit Row took delivery of the Flashlight system at the end of September to help service their busy Autumn season and millennium projects, commencing with the Jamiroquai tour and MOBO Awards.