Film studio Pinewood Shepperton warned yesterday that uncertainty over tax breaks for the movie industry could continue to scare off overseas producers until the spring.
Shooting of The Da Vinci Code and Basic Instinct II has begun at Pinewood but the company said these were the only two major Hollywood productions to opt for the UK.
Pinewood - headed by BBC chairman Michael Grade - said it was putting on hold initiatives to enhance its studios until normal trading returned and the Government's tax policy was set in stone.
But this was unlikely to take place until April as the new policy on film tax incentives was only issued at the end of July and must undergo months of consultation.
The film studio slipped into a pre-tax loss of £180,000 in the six-month period to June 30, compared with a profit of £6.48 million in the same period last year.
Sales dropped to £13.3 million from £20.4 million.
Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said revenues from the rental of its film stages and related services more than halved to £5 million, while operating profits dropped to £1.9 million in the period from £6.6 million.
"Our film customers await the outcome of the Government's formal consultation of UK film tax incentives. This protracted process will continue to impact on trading for the rest of 2005 and into 2006," he said.
Among the provisional film bookings that failed to be converted into contracts was sci-fi epic The Watchman after entertainment giant Paramount Pictures took fright at the cost of movie-making in the UK.
Mr Dunleavy said other film studios had suffered from the uncertainty over tax breaks and its financial performance also reflected the weakness of the US dollar against the pound.
Across the whole industry in the UK, investment in film production halved to £335 million in the first half of this year from £668 million in the same period of 2004, he said.
In the absence of major blockbusters, Pinewood used the film stages for corporate events and television productions including Miss Marple, Poirot, Elizabeth and Extras.
Despite the setbacks over attracting major films, Pinewood continued to hold the view that its revenue targets for this year can be met. Overall turnover in the first half totalled £13.3 million - down from £20.4 million at the same stage of last year.
Mr Grade said: "The board believes the disappointing results for the first half do not indicate any fundamental shift in the film production business as a whole."
Pinewood, which employs about 200 people, said revenues from television and sound services were also lower at £5 million in the period against £6 million a year earlier.
This was due to some productions being rescheduled into the second half, although the group mixed a number of major films including Batman Begins and Kingdom Of Heaven.