AMC Entertainment Says Earnings Are Strong Despite "Sluggish Box Office"

Movie Theater Interior - H 2012
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Movie Theater Interior - H 2012

The movie exhibition company says each patron spent a record $4.46 for food and beverage in the quarter.

AMC Entertainment on Tuesday reported record fourth-quarter financial results, by some metrics, in spite of what CEO Gerry Lopez called "a lackluster film slate" and "sluggish box office."

The film exhibition company said revenue was $712 million, about flat compared to a year earlier, while earnings from continuing operations were $29.8 million, down from $255.6 million a year ago due to a large tax benefit.

AMC set records in two areas: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which came in at $140.1 million, and also with $4.46 food and beverage sales per patron.

AMC said food and beverage revenue rose to $215.3 million in the quarter, up from $197.9 million a year ago, but admissions revenue fell to $460.3 million from $482.1 million last year. The average price of a ticket was down 3 cents to $9.54.

AMC has 4,960 screens at 348 locations, and Lopez boasted that the 53 reseated theaters provided for a 13.8 percent increase in admissions revenues per screen compared to last year.

"By focusing on the guest experience, we successfully mitigated the impact of a sluggish box office in the fourth quarter," Lopez said.

Shares of AMC rose 1 percent on Tuesday to $30.90 and did not trade after the closing bell. The stock has risen 44 percent in the past year.

"Being a leader in guest experience is fun, and it works for us, our customers and our shareholders," said Lopez.