Odeon UCI Cinemas Second-Quarter Loss Narrows

7:27 AM PST 08/15/2012 by Georg Szalai

Europe's largest movie theater firm saw stronger attendance in the U.K. and Germany, but weaker momentum in Southern Europe.

LONDON - Odeon UCI Cinemas, the largest movie theater chain in Europe, on Wednesday reported a narrowed second-quarter loss amid improved revenue.

But the company reported diverging attendance trends as the U.K. and Germany posted increases, while attendance once again declined in Southern Europe where economic and financial challenges have been more pronounced.

Avengers Assemble boosted attendance in all territories, but the company cited warm weather and the Euro 2012 soccer championships as having negative effects in June.

The Olympics and difficult comparisons with strong year-ago releases will also lead to declines in the current third quarter, the company forecast. The fourth quarter will see a rebound though with a strong release slate, it said.

Odeon UCI on Wednesday also cited the economic challenges in Italy and Spain as a concern and predicted some impact from a planned increase in Spanish sales taxes on ticket prices.

Odeon UCI reported a loss of £20 million ($31.3 million), nearly half the year-ago loss. Revenue increased 9 percent to £164.7 million ($258 million). Excluding acquisitions though, revenue rose only 1.5 percent to £150.5 million ($236 million).

Ticket sales improved 9.3 percent to 18.2 million. Excluding acquisitions, it rose only 0.8 percent though.

U.K. attendance rose 11 percent, while Germany recorded a 3 percent gain. But Spain and Italy each reported a 4 percent decline.

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