Pan-Europeanexhibitor The Kinepolis Group has announced its first half of 2005 figures with10.7m admissions recorded, a fall of12% year-on-year.

Between January and June the company, which operatessites in France, Spain, Belgium, Poland and Switzerland, sold 10.7m tickets.This is comparable with 12.1m in 2004.

However,excluding figures for the Paris Max Linder complex in France, which the groupsold in February 2004, and the Kinepolis Granada in Spain, which only opened inJune 2004, and therefore skew the figures slightly the group's figures weredown 14% from 12.1m to 10.4m.

Kinepolisblamed the overall fall at the feet of this year's product, but suggests thereis hope to come: "The main reason for this worldwide slump is the films onoffer. Last year the majority of blockbusters were released in the first halfof the year. Furthermore, 2004 was an atypical year, characterised byexceptional results in the first two quarters, but only moderate success in thelater months. 2005, on the contrary, looks set to fit in with a standardvisitor pattern, i.e. a moderate first six months and more profitable end ofyear."

Thesecond quarter of 2005 overall was weaker than the first with 4.8m admissionsrecorded between April and June compared to 5.9m between January and March.

Belgium,where the company is based and has nine sites, saw the most admissions thisyear for the group with 4.8m down from 5.5m in the first half of 2004. This mayhave represented a 13% drop year-on-year but remained good news for Kinepolisconsidering the overall Belgian market was actually down 15%. In fact in someregions Kinepolis strengthened its markert position thanks to digitalprogramming of films such as Fox's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of TheSith and UIP's Madagascar as well as special screenings.

Thecompany's five remaining French sites saw 2.9m admissions in the first sixmonths of 2005. Spain's three locations provided a positive result forKinepolis this year with 2.5m recorded ticket sales providing a 2% rise on lastyear. This is due to the strong performance of the new Kinepolis Granada whichhas seen steady growth since its inauguration in June 2004 and continues toreinforce its market share. Without the Granada site the Spanish performancewas down 10%.

Thecompany's single site in Poland, Kinepolis Poznan, saw the worst declineslipping 33% year-on-year although the Polish megaplex still did better thanits local competitors. Kinepolis points to the outstanding success of ThePassion Of The Christ in the first half of 2004 and the death of Pope JohnPaul II in 2005 which "impacted upon social and cultural events in Poland forseveral weeks" as key factors.

Thesingle Schaffhausen site in Switzerland saw figures down (-22%) in line withthe general trends of the market.