Denmark’s largest cinema chain, Nordisk Film Biografer, has become theatrical market leader in Norway after securing a 49% stake in exhibitor Kinosør.

The deal with Kinosør, of the Norwegian municipality of Kristiansand, will see Nordisk purchase a 49% stake of its four theatres, comprising 16 auditoria and 3,321 seats in Southern Norway. Together they sell 500,000 tickets annually.

In 2013 Nordisk Film Biografer registered its best annual result since 1981 in Denmark, with ticket sales of 6.1 million – 43% of total admissions. During the year, the company bought Norway’s leading theatrical chain, Oslo Municipal Cinemas, followed by the auditoria in the municipality in Ålesund. With its new acquisition, Nordisk is running 22 theatres accounting for 33% of the annual national turnover.

“Our ambition is to continue growing and strengthening our market leaderships in both Norway and Denmark. Nordisk and its owner, the Egmont Media Concern, believe in cinemas, which have turned out to be strong business even in a time of financial crisis,” said John Tønnes, CEO of Nordisk Film Biografer.

Denmark’s largest cinema chain, with theatres in 14 cities, Nordisk Film Biografer last year opened its 17th Danish multiplex, BioCity Næstved, and the company is currently planning a new multiplex in the Fields Shopping Centre at Copenhagen’s Ørestaden, which will be ready in 2014.

“To us Nordisk Film Biografer is a solid, long-term strategic partner, with a deep-rooted desire to positively develop the offer of films in the region,” said chairman of Kristiansand Kino Holding, Espen Saga, representing a 70 staff and an annual turnover of $11.4m (NOK 70m).

Nordisk Film Biografer is part of Nordisk Film, Denmark’s largest producer, distributor and exhibitor, with a $0.5bn (DKK2.7bn) turnover in 2013. Operating in 30 countries, with 6,600 employees, Egmont reached a $2.2bn (DKK12bn) turnover last year.