Canadian large format operator IMAX Corporation has announced its third quarter results, which continue the company's downwards slide, exacerbated by economic downturn and the US exhibition sector's ill health.

Third quarter revenues for the company, which has 220 large format theatres in 30 countries, hit $23.3m - down from $32.9m last year. Systems revenue was down $4.6m from 2000 to hit $13.6m, and film revenue was down $4.2m over the previous year to hit $6.4m, largely due to a reduction in post-production activity.

For the nine-month period up to Sept 30 2001, IMAX's revenues were down to $84.8m from $126.3m over the same period in 2000. For the same nine-month period, the company reported a loss of $5.35 per share, including the impact of $4.99 per share of restructuring and other charges. In comparison, the company lost $1.98 per share over the first nine months of 2000.

The third quarter saw the company taking previously announced restructuring and other charges of $142 million, related to employee redundancy and $55.2m related to the disposal of the rental and staging operations of its Digital Projection International (DPI) subsidiary.

Nevertheless, the company reported cash and cash equivalents of $31.6 million at September 30, 2001, approximately $7m greater than its balance at June 30, 2001.

IMAX's prospects, for the time being at least, have lifted somewhat, with the announcement of a new IMAX 3D theatre for the National Amusements flagship complex in LA, and a strong film slate for 2002.

The product line-up for next year comprises some 20 independent and Hollywood films, including Disney's Beauty And The Beast, James Cameron's Ghosts Of The Abyss and IMAX's own Space Station, to be narrated by Tom Cruise.

"We continue to implement the restructuring that began earlier this year, and believe that most of this process is now behind us," said IMAX co-chiefs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler in a statement. "The charges taken in the third quarter reflect the changing economic conditions that IMAX has had to adapt to, including the global economic slowdown and the financial difficulties facing the North American exhibition market."