Spend per user rises at Cineworld

The number of bums on seats continued to decline at cinemas operator Cineworld in the second half of 2012, with the Olympics proving a tempting distraction to many cinema goers, but increased ticket prices ensured the top line did not dip too much.

The number of bums on seats continued to decline at cinemas operator Cineworld in the second half of 2012, with the Olympics proving a tempting distraction to many cinema goers, but increased ticket prices ensured the top line did not dip too much.

Total revenues in the 19 weeks from June 29th were down 1.4% year-on-year. Box office takings were down 0.2%, but retail sales - popcorn, ice cream and colas the size of a block of flats - were flat year-on-year.

The big change was in revenue from "other income", such as the hiring of glasses for 3D movies. Revenue of this kind was down 17.0% on a year earlier, partly due to Cineworld's commendable decision to remove the booking fee.

Ticket prices were up 4.0% on a year earlier during the period, but admissions declined by 4.1%. Spend per person increased by 4.3% compared with the corresponding 19 week period last year.

The group said the release schedule for films during the period has been unexceptional though the new James Bond film, "Skyfall", is doing good business and has got the fourth quarter off to a good start. Still to come later this year are guaranteed box office smashes "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (part 2)" and "The Hobbit".

"The film line up for the remainder of the fourth quarter is promising, with strong box office performances anticipated from the key titles. We therefore expect our results to be in line with current market expectations for the full year," the company said.

JH

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