Cinema chain Cineworld has said a strong set of film releases during the first half helped it grow revenue and profit in the period.
A "good quality film slate" including Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 and The Fate of the Furious combined with a refurbishment programme boosted seat sales in the six months to 30 June.
Group revenue was up 17.8 per cent to £420.2m, while underlying earnings grew almost 20 per cent to £84.3m.
An interim dividend per share of 6p was announced, up from 5.2p this time last year.
The growth in revenue came as a result of a 10 per cent rise in people attending to 50.7 million.
The average ticket price across all territories increased by 2.4 per cent to £5.27. In the UK the average price was £6.38.
Shares in the London-listed firm were up three per cent this morning.
Why it's interesting
In addition to the raft of popular films during this period, Cineworld pointed to its own refurbishment programme as a reason for growth.
The company said it was creating better sound and picture quality as well as heightened comfort for its customers.
The chain has also increased its retail offering as the average retail spend per person went up 5.8 per cent to £2.04. Cineworld has 25 Starbucks sites in its UK portfolio and is targeting another four by the end of the year.
Cineworld's wider leisure offering and site upgrade plan tallies up with the cinema sector's attempts to create a luxury experience that will tempt viewers away from Netflix. Competitor Vue recently reopened its super-luxury Leicester Square venue.
What the company said
Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: "Our strategy is based on our strong belief in the cinema experience, emphasizing our efforts on creating our cinemas in a way that will give our customers 'the best way to watch a movie'".
He 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."