CINEWORLD revenues were up more than 11 per cent last year after receiving a welcome boost from the rise in popularity of 3D movies.
Box office takings were up by nearly 17 per cent and food sales were up by almost 10 per cent. These rises were enough to overshadow a drop in advertising revenue of 29 per cent.
Ticket sales were well above the market increase of 11 per cent.
Blockbusters including Slumdog Millionaire, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince pulled in big crowds but the bumper box-office receipts are thought to be in part down to the sudden rush for 3D films.
James Cameron’s much anticipated Avatar was a hit and Up, Bolt and Monsters vs Aliens all performed well.
Expansion of its digital facilities is thought to be behind a growth in market share in the UK and Ireland to 24 per cent.
A company spokesman said: “The number and success of films released in 3D has raised the profile of this format, which in turn has had a favourable effect on cinema admissions.
“While cost pressures have continued, overall profit performance is expected to be in line with market expectations.”
The group’s estate is now 790 screens at 77 locations with more developments planned.