Odeon pins hopes on Star Wars and 007 to narrow 2014 losses

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Minions from Despicable Me 2 failed to help Odeon and UCI
LOSSES at cinema operator Odeon & UCI widened to £119.7m last year after a lack of blockbusters and the Fifa World Cup caused a drop in the number of people visiting its screens.

The company, which is owned by Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma, said paid attendances fell by two per cent to 78.5m in 2014.

In Spain, however, attendances rose 13.5 per cent thanks to the success of a local film. Meanwhile in the UK, visitor numbers fell by 4.9 per cent.

As a result, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell by 23 per cent to £53m, with turnover down seven per cent to £657m, accounts filed at Companies House show.

After a weak couple of year, the cinema industry is pinning its hopes on this year’s strong slate of films including Jurassic World, Star Wars: Episode VII and the next James Bond, Spectre.

First quarter results released by Odeon in May showed admissions improved by 12.2 per cent thanks to popular films such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which in turn helped to a drive a 39 per cent rise in Ebitda to £24.4m.

Odeon said new mobile websites and the removal of card handling fees had also helped to boost bookings.

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