Imax Earnings Up Sharply After Theater Build-Out

The company sees earnings rise to $54.2 million against $4 million in 2009, on overall revenue at $69.1 million, compared to a year-earlier $54.2 million.

TORONTO – An expanding giant screen theatre network and 3D films helped Imax Corp post sharply higher fourth-quarter earnings and revenue.

Toronto-based Imax saw earnings for the three months to December 31 rise to $54.2 million, against $4 million in 2009, on overall revenue at $69.1 million, compared to a year-earlier $54.2 million.

Factoring in one-time items like stock compensation and a tax allowance reversal led Imax to post adjusted earnings of $14.3 million during the latest frame, against earnings of $12.9 million in 2009.

Fourth quarter systems revenue for Imax increased 67% to $32.9 million, after the big screen exhibitor installed 20 new theatre systems in latest quarter, against 10 new systems in the same period of 2009. Imax also installed seven digital upgrades, against six in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The supersized theater chain also pulled in higher rent, fees and finance income, including several sale and lease theaters whose box office in 2010 triggered higher box office overage fees.

Fourth quarter film revenue rose 19% to $18 million, while production and DMR revenues increased 9% to $13.1 million. And gross box office from digital media remastering titles (most of them Hollywood) was $101.9 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $101.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Imax is to hold an analyst call Thursday morning to discuss its latest results.

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