Australian Exhibitor Hoyts Group Names Damian Keogh CEO

Delfin Fernandez retires after nine years as head of the movie theater chain, which operates 448 of Australia's estimated 1,200 screens.

Major Australian exhibition company, the Hoyts Group has promoted Damian Keogh to CEO, following the planned retirement of Delfin Fernandez after nine years in the post.

Keogh has been upped to the position from his current post as CEO of Hoyts subsidiary, Val Morgan Cinema Advertising,  which has increased cinema ad revenue by more than 20 percent in each of the last two years.

Hoyts Group chairman David Kirk said, “Delfin has done a wonderful job for the Hoyts Group during his eight and a half years as CEO. He has decided that now is the time to pursue a range of other interests. We are delighted he has agreed to remain a director of the Hoyts Group and look forward to his continued contribution on the Board.”

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The Hoyts Group, owned by private equity company, Pacific Equity Partners is one of the largest exhibitors in the country.  It owns and operates 55 cinemas with over 448 screens of Australia’s 1200-plus screens and more than 75,000 seats. It also has a burgeoning move kiosk business providing DVD rentals in 570 shopping centers and supermarkets nationwide.

Keogh will also oversee Hoyts’ move into the digital movie streaming business with a planned 2014 launch of Hoyts Stream. Hoyts Stream will be an online streaming platform, supporting multiple devices and offering consumers a pay-as-you-go model for new releases and classic movies and TV content. A subscription model, specifically for movie and TV classics, will follow post launch. New Release content on the Hoyt Stream Service will release day and date with current DVD windows.

“I very much look forward to taking up the role. Hoyts is an iconic Australian brand and I am excited about the opportunities in the filmed entertainment business generally. Hoyts is well positioned to profit from the changes we are seeing in the industry, both at the cinema and in our growing home entertainment business,” Keogh said.  

Fernandez will continue to work with Keogh on a transition to the new role before he departs on March 31.