The Jungle Book and Deadpool draw in moviegoers in first half for Cineworld

Francesca Washtell
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The World Premiere of Disney's 'THE JUNGLE BOOK'
The Jungle Book was one of the big box office pullers in the first six months of the year (Source: Getty)

Blockbusters including Deadpool and The Jungle Book drove a rise in revenues at Cineworld, while the chain has said it has a promising string of films on its side for the second half of the year.

The figures

Group revenue at the cinema chain rose 8.4 per cent to £356.7m in the six months to 30 June, in line with expectations.

UK admissions were down four per cent at 24m in the period, in a summer that failed to reach the highs of last year's Jurassic Park-fuelled cinemafest.

Total revenue was boosted by other markets including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

However, profit before tax plummeted 35 per cent to £30.6m, down from £46.8m in the same period of last year. This was due to the effects of currency headwinds and the sale of a former Cineworld in Cambridge in the first half of last year, which boosted profits in 2015.

Read more: Bond movie boosts bottom line for Cineworld

Cineworld opened four new sites with a total of 45 screens during the period and is contracted to open another six sites, with a total of 47 screens, by the end of 2016.

The group increased its interim dividend by four per cent to 5.2p.

Cineworld's share price was down 1.2 per cent to 586.5p in early afternoon trading.

Cineworld Cineworld | mobile image

Why it's interesting

Last month Cineworld announced it had acquired five sites from Empire Cinema, including the Empire in Leicester Square.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said the acquisition was "an exciting development and reinforces our commitment to growth by operating high quality cinemas".

Read more: Curzon Cinemas targets expansion around the world

The group said current trading is still set to deliver a whole-year performance in line with expectations.

Cineworld is hopeful that Jason Bourne, Bridget Jones's Baby and the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be among the next big hits to drive ticket sales throughout the rest of the year.

What Cineworld said

Greidinger said:

We are delighted to have continued the group's strategic expansion with the opening of four new sites, 45 screens, during the six months to 30 June.

We have achieved growth in admissions, box office revenue, and retail sales, with a particularly strong performance in our Rest of the World segment, achieving double digit growth in admissions. The strongest titles released during the period were “The Jungle Book”, “Deadpool” and “Captain America: Civil War”.

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