Cineworld profits on the up despite the downturn

CINEWORLD revealed a solid third-quarter trading performance yesterday, despite the economic downturn and decline in screen advertising. <br /><br />The group posted healthy trading with total revenues up 6.5 per cent in the 43-week period to 22 October. This was largely due to the 10.9 per cent growth in box office sales and five per cent growth in retail revenues. <br /><br />Strong audiences for films such as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, The Hangover and Up (in 3D) have underpinned&nbsp; box office success. <br /><br />Another key success factor is the group&rsquo;s digital expansion strategy. Cineworld is capitalising on the growing number of 3D releases. This has contributed to an overall box office market share to date of 23.8 per cent in UK and Ireland. <br /><br />Box office revenues are expected to continue to do well until the end of the year with the release of new films like Avatar, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and A Christmas Carol.&nbsp; <br /><br />Cineworld said the increase in sales was due to a &ldquo;good performance given the challenging consumer environment&rdquo;. <br /><br />According to The European Audiovisual Observatory, cinema attendance reached its highest for seven years in the UK, with a 14.5 per cent increase in tickets sold between January and June this year.