Tuesday 19 July 2016 12:04 pm

Get your popcorn: Cinema chain Vue International hails blockbuster first-half results

Cinema chain Vue International has hailed record first-half results and seen its acquisition strategy pay off with the launch of a new Netherlands-based arm. 

The figures

Turnover at the cinema chain grew 4.4 per cent to £381.8m in the 26 weeks to 26 May, up from £365.7m in the first half of 2015. 

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 5.7 per cent to £77.8m, from £73.6m in the same period of last year. Ebitda over the last twelve months stands at £130.2m – the sixth consecutive quarter where it has exceeded £100m

Vue International also announced a €120m ‚Äč(£100m) refinancing loan to help pay for the transfer of Dutch cinema group JT Bioscopen, which Vue acquired last August, on a debt-free basis. 

Read more: Britons are spending their money on experiences rather than products

Morgan Stanley and Lloyds Bank acted as joint bookrunners on the loan, with Morgan Stanley coordinating the transaction on behalf of Vue. The new Netherlands-based estate is being rebranded Vue Nederland. 

Why it's interesting 

Vue's record first-half results could boost the company's plans to launch a market flotation in 2017. Earlier this year, the Sunday Times reported PwC had been brought in to advise on the estimated £1.7bn potential listing. 

Its results are in part a result of the firm's proactive acquisition strategy. Since 2012, Vue International has taken over Apollo Cinemas, CinemaxX, Multikino, Space Cinemas and JT Bioscopen. 

Read more: Bond film Spectre boosts takings at cinema chain Vue

The company opened its 85th cinema in the UK and Ireland in June, which was its 211th cinema globally. 

Vue is still committed to its strategy of being the first cinema to have VIP seating (and increasingly recliner seating) in each of its sites, which is part of refurbishment upgrades in its Dutch rebranding. 

Vue was sold by private equity firm Doughty Hanson to Canadian investors OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management in 2013 for £935m.

What Vue said

Tim Richards, founder and chief executive of Vue International, said: 

We’re delighted with another strong performance in the first half of 2016 as we continue to build our leading global entertainment group.

Our customer experience remains a core focus as we continue investing across our international estate, improving operational efficiencies and introducing new Ebitda enhancing initiatives as we develop and grow the business further.

In short

Get your popcorn and settle into a Vue recliner seat: the company's results show it's going from strength to strength.