Big Irish audiences help boost Cineworld revenues

The operator of Ireland’s largest cinema complex saw group revenues grow by over 11% in the first half of this year.

British cinema group Cineworld operates the eponymous multiplex outlet on Dublin’s Parnell Square. It yesterday reported group revenues of £329.1m (€461m) for the first six months of 2015, up 11.3% on the same period last year.

As well as here and the UK, the group operates in a number of countries in eastern Europe and has operations in Israel.

Total revenue from its UK and Ireland division grew 11% on a pro-forma basis, to £219.3m — made up of £150.4m in direct box office receipts and the remainder from retail sales and other income streams.

On a group basis, first-half pre-tax profits ballooned almost £17m to £46.8m. Diluted earnings per share grew from 5.1p to 13.8p and the company raised its interim dividend per share by almost 32%, year-on-year, to 5p.

The company is looking to open another six cinemas in the UK this year, with a further 18 likely to open in the next three years. No mention has been made of Irish expansion plans.

Cineworld doesn’t break down separate figures for its Irish operations, but recent figures from international cinema data firm Rentrak show that Irish cinemas are currently enjoying a record year in box office takings.

Total box office sales across all Irish cinemas amounted to €101.89m in 2013. That figure dipped to €99.9m last year.

The all-time annual high was reached in 2008, with €125m spent by movie-goers to see films such as Mamma Mia, The Dark Knight, and Slumdog Millionaire.

This year has already seen people flocking to cinemas to catch the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey, Minions, and Jurassic World.

At the halfway point this year, combined Irish cinema box office revenues amounted to just shy of €57.6m.

With other highly anticipated films such as the new James Bond movie, Spectre; the new Star Wars episode, and the latest in the Hunger Games series, Rentrak is expecting 2015 to be a record year for Irish box office receipts.

Latest inflation data — published yesterday by the CSO — showed that cinema prices fell by 0.4% in the last year.


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