Cineplex Galaxy earnings dip on film costs

Second-quarter figures come despite b.o., concession gains

TORONTO -- Despite higher boxoffice and concession sales, Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund reported lower second-quarter earnings Wednesday thanks to increased film costs and operating expenses.

Toronto-based Cineplex Galaxy said that it earned CAN$5.04 million ($4.8 million) during the quarter ending June 30, down 39% from a profit of CAN$8.26 million in 2007.

Revenue rose 4.7% to CAN$209.3 million ($201 million), against a year-earlier CAN$200 million. Most business came from boxoffice revenue of CAN$126.3 million ($121 million) as the cinema chain did well with Hollywood releases including "Iron Man," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Sex and the City."

And second-quarter concession sales stood at CAN$62 million ($59.5 million), compared with a year-earlier CAN$59.7 million

About 15.6 million Canadians passed through the Cineplex Galaxy turnstiles during the latest reporting period, up from 15.1 million in 2007. But the exhibitors' bottom line was affected by film costs rising to CAN$67.7 million ($65 million) as well as higher operating expenses.

Cineplex Galaxy holds a 76% stake in Cineplex Entertainment, which operates 1,337 screens at 132 theaters countrywide.