First-half profit dips at Kinepolis

Cinema group operates 23 multiplexes

BRUSSELS -- European cinema group Kinepolis said Friday that its operating profit in the first half of 2008 was down 15% to $14 million.

The group -- which has 23 multiplexes -- made $162 million in the January-June period, up just 1% from last year. And audiences were down 3.2% to 10.4 million. But the group insisted that, "with the economy weakening and inflation rising, these results can be considered satisfactory."

Admissions were up 11.2% in the first quarter, thanks largely to French hit "Welcome to the Sticks," but down 18.2% in the second quarter.