Cineworld Group, the UK’s largest cinema operator, has reported a revenue growth of 7.2% in its trading update for 2018.
The Group, which runs the Cineworld and Picturehouse chains in the UK and completed a $3.6 billion acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group in the US last year, saw admissions increase by 2.6% compared with 2017, to reach 308m in total.
The company said the increase was driven by ”a strong film slate in the US, the positive impact of the ongoing refurbishment programme and the continued roll-out of our premium formats”.
Revenue in the UK & Ireland grew by 3%, with the highest-grossing titles at Cineworld Group venues coming in as Avengers: Infinity War and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
US revenue was up by 8.6%, driven by the success of Avengers as well as by Black Panther and Incredibles 2. For the rest of the world, revenue was up by 3.1%.
The Group had 790 sites with 9,518 screens, as of December 31, 2018. It opened 13 new sites in 2018 including six in the UK, with 14 sites closing across the year, one of which was in the UK.
The Group’s retail revenue increased 7.7%, with growth coming at 9% in the US, 3.4% in the UK and 3.7% In the rest of the world.
Picturehouse has been involved in a long-running pay dispute with staff over its failure to pay the London Living Wage, with regular protests at Picturehouse venues.