UK-owned cinema exhibitor Cineworld Group has reported a profit surge in its preliminary results for the calendar year 2018, following the Group’s takeover of US-based Regal Entertainment Group in February last year.
Profits before tax in 2018 stood at $349m, a 125% increase from 2017’s $155.1m. This was motivated partly by the acquisition of Regal, which made Cineworld the second-largest cinema chain in the world through a $2.7bn deal.
Cineworld noted strong box office figures in the US as also contributing to the revenue boost, with takings at $2.131bn in 2018, up 7.2% from $1.988bn in 2017.
Admissions also increased 4.9% in the US to 206.5m from 196.9m, while total revenue was up 8.6% from $3.2bn to $3.5bn.
Key titles in the territory were Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Incredibles 2, which brought in $1.8bn combined.
UK and Ireland
In the UK and Ireland where Cineworld also owns the Picturehouse chain, admissions in Cineworld’s cinemas fell 2.6% from 53m to 51.6m in 2018. This came despite admissions across all cinemas in the UK reaching 177m last year, the highest level since 1970.
However box office receipts in the company’s UK and Ireland cinemas increased by 2% to $453.5m. Retail takings rose by 3.5% to $167.5m.
Total UK and Ireland revenue was up 3.3% to $697.7m in 2018.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2 were the highest-grossing titles in the territory for Cineworld.
Rest of the world
In the rest of the world, admissions were down 1% to 50.3m; but box office and total revenue were both up 4.5% and 3.6% respectively.
As of the end of 2018, the Group was operating 9,518 screens in 790 sites across 10 countries.
Earlier this year the Group reported a revenue growth of 7.2% in its trading update for 2018.