Exhibitor Cineworld is due to open four more cinemas following an increase in box office takings in 2012.

Cineworld box office was up 3.9% to £251.6m compared to 2011, according to the company’s financial statement for 2012.

Admissions dropped 1% year on year to 47.8m but the 5% hike in average ticket price per admission to £5.26 (2011: £5.01) and a higher average retail spend per person at £1.72 (2011: £1.69) contributed to the increase in box office.

The exhibitor has a box office market share of 24.7% in the UK.

The company is on track to open four new cinemas:

  • a nine screen cinema in Wembley;
  • a six screen cinema in St Neots;
  • a new ten screen cinema replacing its existing cinema in Gloucester;
  • it will take over the IMAX cinema at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Food and drink sales are the second most important source of revenue for Cineworld representing 23% of total revenues.

Total retail revenues were marginally better at £82.3m (2011: £81.6m) and net retail spend per person improved 1.8% in the year to £1.72 (2011: £1.69). However, “other income” fell 8.2% to £22.3m (2011: £24.3m).

The largest single element of Other Income is screen advertising revenue. According to the exhibitor the drop is due to the depression in the advertising industry, the” softening” of 3D glasses sales and the removal of booking fees.

In line with the results the Board proposed a 7.3% increase in the full year dividend for 2012 to 11.8p, which continues the year on year growth in dividends every year since 2008.

Stephen Wiener, chief executive officer of Cineworld Group plc, said: “I am delighted with the overall progress made in 2012, with revenues up and a strong increase in profits, with adjusted EPS up 10.4% from 2011. It has been a busy year for us: we completed the conversion of our projection estate to digital, opened a new seven screen cinema in Aldershot and expanded the IMAX screen concept to eight cinemas.  The culmination of the year’s activity was the acquisition of Picturehouse. Picturehouse is an exciting, complementary brand which operates in a separate market to Cineworld’s Cinemas and brings further growth opportunities to the Group.

“The new year has started well and in line with our expectations. There is an attractive release schedule for the year which we expect to play well with our differentiated programming strategy.  In addition, there is little in the way of major events to distract cinema goers.”