Box office hits drive growth at Cineworld
Blockbusters like Beauty And The Beast combined with a refurbishment programme to drive surging profit at Cineworld in the first half of the year.
The cinema chain saw revenue rise 17.8 per cent to £420.2 million in the six months to June 30, while pre-tax profit increased 57.5 per cent to £48.2 million.
Admissions rose 10 per cent to more than 50 million as Cineworld said customers had "embraced" revamps aimed at creating "better sightlines, bigger screens, better sound and great comfort".
The figures came as a slate of popular films brought out cinema-goers in large numbers, benefiting the chain which has a branch at Bentley Bridge in Wednesfield.
The top three films in the first half of the year – Beauty And The Beast, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 and The Fate Of The Furious – together grossed £143 million.
The three biggest titles in the first half of 2016, by comparison – The Jungle Book, Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War – grossed £120 million.
Cineworld boss Mooky Greidinger said: "I believe that the six months results clearly reflect our strategy and a good quality of film slate.
"Our strategy is based on our strong belief in the cinema experience, emphasising our efforts on creating our cinemas in a way that will give our customers 'the best way to watch a movie'."
The firm is also encouraged by the calibre of films in the second half, which have so far included Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Releases still to come in 2017 include Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is expected to be another hit after its predecessor sent box office records tumbling at Christmas time in 2015.
"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," Mr Gredinger added.
"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.
"This strategy combined with great blockbusters such as Beauty And The Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, The Fate of the Furious and more were the key reasons for this six months success."