Imax Second-Quarter Earnings Rise on Hollywood Releases, Theater Signings

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond.

The giant-screen exhibitor, led by CEO Richard Gelfond, has continued to expand its global footprint through Asian deals with CJ CGV and Wanda Group.

TORONTO – Hollywood box office and theater signings led Imax on Thursday to report higher second-quarter earnings and revenue.

Earnings came in slightly below analysts' estimates, but other metrics came in ahead of expectations. In pre-market trading, Imax stock rose sharply.

The giant-screen exhibitor posted a profit of $11.8 million, compared with earnings of $11.03 million in 2012, on revenue up 17 percent to $82.3 million for the three months to June 30.

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Production and digital remastering (DMR) revenue came to $26 million against a year-earlier $19.7 million, while Q2 gross box office from DMR titles of mostly Hollywood movies was $219.7 million, compared with $173.5 million in 2012.

As Imax expanded its global footprint, revenue from sales and sales-type leases and joint revenue-sharing arrangements were both up.

Imax recently unveiled a 35-theater agreement with South Korea's CJ CGV on top of Wednesday’s 130-screen deal with China's Wanda Group and subsidiary AMC Theatres.

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"When you take into account the healthy backlog at the end of the second quarter, along with the substantial signing activity over the past few weeks, including last night's Wanda/AMC announcement, the result is a strong pipeline for continued network expansion over the coming years," Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said in a statement.

Imax executives were to talk to financial analysts about the latest results later Thursday.