Les Miserables and Iron Man 3 boost Cineworld first-half profits

Kasmira Jefford
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CINEMA chain Cineworld said box office hits like Les Miserables along with its growing subscriber base helped lift profits by 24 per cent to £16.5m in the first half of the year.
The company became the first cinema chain to scrap online booking fees last year, also offering a 10 per cent discount to those who register for its online loyalty scheme MyCineworld.
It said 2m filmgoers had signed up to MyCineworld since online fees were abolished, taking the number of members to over 3m.
Finance chief Philip Bowcock said this had also helped increase its market share by half a percentage point to 25.2 per cent year-on-year.
Group revenue rose 21.9 per cent to £201.6m in the six months to 27 June while the average ticket price grew by 4.7 per cent to £5.39, partly due to inflationary price increases and partly due to more people watching 3D films.
Picturehouse, the indie cinema chain Cineworld bought last year for £47.3m, generated £18.8m in revenues in the first half, thanks to films including Django Unchained.
Cineworld’s acquisition of Picturehouse is being investigated by the Competition Commission, which is due to report back in October.