Regal Owner Cineworld Revenue Rises 7.2 Percent in 2018, Led by U.S.

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The largest cinema operator in the U.K. said admissions for the year increased by 2.6 percent to reach 308 million, a company record, as U.S. box office increased 6.9 percent.

Movie theater giant Cineworld Group, which last year completed its $3.6 billion acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group, on Wednesday reported 7.2 percent revenue growth for 2018, or 6.2 percent when assuming constant currencies, led by a strong U.S. performance.

The largest cinema operator in the U.K. said its U.S. revenue for the year rose 8.6 percent, while the U.K. and Ireland were up only 3.0 percent (or 0.6 percent assuming constant currencies) and the rest of the world was up 3.1 percent (or unchanged assuming constant currencies).

Box office revenue climbed 5.8 percent, or 4.8 percent on a constant-currency basis, with the U.S. rising 6.9 percent. 

Admissions for the year increased by 2.6 percent to reach 308 million, a company record. "The growth was driven by a strong film slate in the U.S., the positive impact of the ongoing refurbishment program and the continued rollout of our premium formats," the company said.

The strength in the U.S. included the success of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War in the first half of 2018 and Mission: Impossible FalloutAnt-Man and the Wasp and Venom in the second half.

Concession revenue, which Cineworld calls "retail revenue," rose 7.7 percent, or 6.9 percent assuming constant currencies, in 2018, with the U.S. up 9.0 percent. And other revenue, typically led by screen advertising, increased 13.7 percent (12.6 percent when assuming constant currencies), with the U.S. recording a 19.0 percent gain.

All of Cineworld's results consolidate Regal's performance for the entirety of the year. "The integration and development plans for Regal are progressing well," Cineworld said on Wednesday, adding that management continues to "review further opportunities." 

Cineworld said about the new year: "There is a strong film slate for 2019, including The Lego Movie 2, Captain Marvel, Dumbo, Shazam!, Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Toy Story 4, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, It: Chapter 2, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX."