Cineplex Posts Higher Results on Hollywood Films

Even the ad recovery is lifting Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund as it reported sharply higher third quarter earnings Thursday on a strong slate of Hollywood releases.

Toronto-based Cineplex Galaxy posted earnings up 23% to $25.2 million for the three months to Sept. 30, against a profit of $20. million in 2009, on revenue up 4.5% to $269 million.

The earnings performance was driven by strong boxoffice from slightly higher attendance for Inception, Despicable Me and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which in turn put overall movie receipts up 1.3% to $157.8 million.

By contrast, Cineplex in August reported a slide in second quarter earnings due to a series of Hollywood boxoffice duds, including Killers and Fox’s The A-Team, and lower theatre attendance.

In the third quarter, concession revenue rose 2.7% to $80.1 million.

Another key contributor during the latest frame came from media revenue, up 40% to $23.5 million during the third quarter as advertisers returned to hawking their wares on cinema screens after taking a breather during the 2009 economic downturn, with auto and mobile phone marketers numbering among the bigger ad spenders.

“Cineplex's revenues this quarter represent the strongest quarterly revenues ever recorded by the Fund since its inception,” company president and CEO Ellis Jacob said in a statement.

The Canadian exhibitor also benefited from increased interest in 3D movies, as just over 25% of its screens now have digital projection, and 22% are 3D capable.

Cineplex runs 129 theatres with 1,342 screens countrywide.