Australia's Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL), owner of Kieft& Kieft, has signalled that it is reviewing the 50% holding that the Germanexhibitor has in joint venture company Neue Filmpalast GmbH & Co KG.
The joint venture operates the Ufa circuit consisting of 187screens at 31 sites across Germany. AHL has said that its current exposure, inthe event of an exit, is about US$4.9m (A$7m).
The news came as AHL notified the Australian Stock Exchangethat it had decided to write-down $50m worth of its investment in Kieft &Kieft Filmtheater GmbH.
Admissions were down 8% for the three months to the end ofApril compared to the same period last year, and box office was down 14%.Declines have occurred since 2001/02, partly due to the state of the Germaneconomy, and were compounded by the introduction of the Euro. Recovery isexpected to be slow.
AHL, which also has extensive hotel and other leisureinterests, is forecasting a loss of $1m in 2004/05 before interest, tax anddepreciation. It acquired half of Kieft & Kieft in 1998, embarked on amultiplex cinema expansion program, then increased its interest to 100% lastDecember. Kieft & Kieft operates the Cinestar circuit and has 364 screensat 54 sites.