By Gordon Deegan
Operating profits at the Odeon cinema group in Ireland fell 30% even as popcorn and sweets buoyed sales.
Accounts filed by United Cinema International Ireland Ltd show operating profits fell to €494,000 last year on revenues up 4.5% to €34m. The accounts give a rare insight into the importance of popcorn and soft-drink sales to cinema firms.
A breakdown of the firm’s revenues show it recorded €21m in box office revenues and another €11.23m in selling popcorn, soft drinks, sweets and other items in its retail revenue. The group also generated €705,000 in screen advertising income and €1m in “other revenues”. The group operates 11 cinemas with 77 screens and is part of the €2.21bn US stockmarket firm, AMC Entertainment Holdings.
The Irish company posted a pre-tax loss of €394,000 after net interest payable payments of €868,000 were taken into account. The operating profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €2.2m, as well as lease costs of €3m. Staff numbers totalled 415 people, with staff costs of €5.8m. In their report, the directors state that cinema attendance in Ireland last year rose 1.3% to 16.1m but its market share fell slightly to 18%.
“The year saw the release of a number of films that performed particularly strongly including Beauty and the Beast, La La Land and Star Wars: Last Jedi,” they said.
“There are encouraging signs that [its growth plan] is leading to additional returns,” said the firm.