Cinema chain Vue International has hailed record full-year results as blockbusters such as James Bond movie Spectre helped to boost box office takings in the fourth quarter.
In a presentation to bondholders, Vue's parent company Vougeot Bidco said group turnover increased by 17.4 per cent to £180.6m in the three months to 26 November, taking full-year sales to £697.9m.
The company, which has 189 cinemas across the UK and Europe, said admissions rose by 14.4 per cent to 20.6m in the quarter while the average ticket price rose by 2.8 per cent to £5.70. Earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation (ebitda) rose by 73.8 per cent to £32.7m.
Spectre brought in £86.1m of box office sales in the UK & Ireland compared with Gone Girl, its top title in the fourth quarter of 2014, which made £22.1m.
The Martian, Hotel Transylvania 2, Legend and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 made up the remaining top selling films. In total, UK admissions rose by 17 per cent in the quarter, boosting box office revenues by 29.5 per cent to £296m.
Its cinemas in Germany and Poland have also enjoyed record sales, while Italy saw double digit growth in market admissions thanks to kids films Inside Out and the Minions.
Vue said its new financial year got off to a strong start thanks to Star Wars, which achieved record sales of over £120m in the UK & Ireland. It forecasts another good quarter ahead thanks to upcoming films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War.
Vue was sold by private equity firm Doughty Hanson to Canadian investors OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management in 2013 for £935m.
Under chief executive Tim Richards it has expanded its presence in Europe, snapping up Dutch cinema chain JT Bioscopen last summer, Italy's Space Entertainment in November 2014 and Multikino in Poland and the Baltics in September 2013.