U.K. Exhibitor Cineworld Posts Uptick in Revenues, Profit

Even with a 2.1% dip in admissions, group reports box office revenues up 4.1% in 2010.


LONDON -- The heavy snow at the end of 2010 caused business to drift for stock exchange-listed exhibition chain Cineworld Group causing a small dip in admissions.

But the U.K.’s second-largest exhibitor still posted an uptick in revenues and pre-tax profits for year ending Dec. 30, 2010.

The group said box office revenues rose 4.1 percent from 2009’s levels, ringing up £235.8 million ($380.8 million) at the tills in 2010. That was on the back of a 2.1 percent downturn in admissions with 47.2 million visiting the group’s movie theaters in 2010.

“We are delighted to have seen continued growth in revenues and profits in 2010 despite sometimes challenging circumstances,” said Cineworld CEO Stephen Wiener. “Our strategically eventful year saw progress in rolling out digital screens across our estate, and continued expansion, including into the high profile O2 Centre.”

He also noted the group closed out 2010 as the leading cinema operator by total box office, claiming a 26.2 percent market share based on figures from box office research outfit Rentrak.

Group revenues hit £342.8 million ($533.6 million) in 2010, up from £327.1 million while pre-tax profits showed a 0.3 percent rise reaching £30.4 million ($49.1 million), up from 2009’s £30.3 million ($48.9 million).

“After the impact of the heavy snow at the end of 2010, admissions have returned to normal and we look forward to a release schedule for 2011 with a strong lineup of potential blockbusters as well as an increased number of 3D films,” Wiener said. “While customers will continue to seek value, cinema remains a well-priced leisure option that can only benefit from an improving economy.”

Average ticket prices at the chain rose 5.9 percent in 2010 to £4.99 ($8.06), up from £4.71 ($7.60) and screen advertising revenues also rose 21 percent, the company reported.