Cineworld Group Plc has reported half year revenue up 17.8% off the back of strong performances from films such as Beauty And The Beast and La La Land.
The British cinema operator said group revenue was up to £420.2m, compared with £356.7m a year ago.
Box office revenue was up 17.7% to £267.2m for the half year ending 30 June and admissions increased by 10% to 50.7 million.
Mooky Greidinger, chief executive officer, said: “The film slate was strong and we saw a positive impact of our new openings in the prior year along with the improved results from our ongoing refurbishment programme.”
Highlights in the first half of the year were Beauty And The Beast, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 and The Fate Of The Furious. Oscar-nominated films such as La La Land also exceeded expectations in the UK.
The biggest titles of the summer include Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming; but still to come before the end of the year are Justice League, Paddington 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Mr Greidinger said: “Based on the film slate in the second half and our first half results, we remain confident of delivering a performance for the year as a whole in line with current market expectations.”
During the period covered by the results, Cineworld acquired the Empire in Newcastle, which has 16 screens, and opened new sites in Ely in the UK and Zichron in Israel.
This brought its total number of screens to 2,136 by the end of June.
Eleven more site openings are planned before the end of the year, which will contribute a further 105 screens.
Two sites – one in Chelsea and one in Hungary – were closed.
Mr Greidinger said: “We have continued opening new sites as well as refurbishing our top cinemas around the estate and taking great consideration to create better sightlines, bigger screens, better sound and great comfort around the halls in the public areas.
“These cinemas are being embraced by our customers and give a clear message that we believe in the theatrical experience and expect our customers to come to the cinemas again and again.”
In the UK and Ireland, box office admissions and box office revenue increased by 9.6% and 11.8% respectively.
The average ticket price increased by 2.1% to £6.38, an increase that the company said reflected “inflationary price increases and the increased availability and popularity of premium offerings such as 4DX”.