Cineworld posted blockbuster results as it prepares to make its US debut after buying Regal Entertainment – making it the second-largest chain in the world.
Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Dunkirk helped push Cineworld’s profits up by almost 23 per cent last year to £120.5million.
Sales soared 11.6 per cent to £890million as the company recorded record results in the UK and Ireland.
Hit: British actor John Boyega in Star Wars The Last Jedi one of several films which helped push Cineworld’s profits up by almost 23 per cent last year to £120.5m
Ticket sales accounted for just under two-thirds of earnings, with the rest of sales coming from popcorn, hot dogs, drinks, film distribution and advertising.
It comes after Cineworld bought Regal for £2.6billion earlier this year as it looks to become a major US player.
The group now has 9,500 screens in ten countries. By number of screens it only trails rival AMC.
Anthony Bloom, chairman of Cineworld, said: ‘2017 was an exciting year for the Cineworld Group, the most momentous since its formation in 1995.’
The company said it was confident of the year ahead with a film slate including the new Jurassic World, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘These results represent the end of a chapter in Cineworld’s life as they only relate to operations in UK, Central Europe and Israel.
‘The Regal deal has resulted in elevated debt levels, much to the annoyance of some critics who liked the company’s previous strong financial position.
‘However, Cineworld is confident it can reduce the debt to more manageable levels in a couple of years.’
‘All eyes will be on the US performance, to see whether Cineworld has the skills to thrive in a new geography.’
- 109 new cinema screens in the UK & Ireland in 2017
- £220.4million retail sales which includes popcorn, soft drinks, coffee, hot dogs and ice cream
- £72.4million takings from Beauty and the Beast, last year’s most popular film
- £6.51 the average ticket price, compared to £6.25 in the previous year
- £2.37 average customer spend on food and drink per admission
- 5 number of Starbucks concessions opened in 2017, taking the total to 29