Struggling exhibition giant Cineworld Group, which is currently finalizing a reorganization plan after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States earlier this month, has released encouraging interim results for the six months ending June 30, 2022.
Overall revenue increased to $1.5 billion from $292.8 million in the same period of 2021, gross profit of $424.5 million and operating profit of $57.3 million, compared to an operating loss of $208.9 million in the same period last year.
The company’s debt position has worsened, however, to $5.2 billion as of June 30, from $5.03 billion as of December 30, 2021.
The exhibitor, which operates 747 venues and 9,139 screens in 10 territories around the world, led by the United States and the United Kingdom, said admissions began to recover during the period as recent Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, but warned he did not expect the box office to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and 2024.
Detailing admissions, he said that after a slow start to the first quarter due to a lack of major releases and customer concerns over the Omicron variant, total admissions had strengthened to 82.8 million in during the six months ended June 30, 2022, split between 33.6 million in the first quarter and 49.2 million in the second quarter, for a total box office of $833.6 million.
This represents an increase of 68.7 million or 487% over the same period in 2021, when there were 14 million admissions for a box office of $140.4 million.
The figure was still down from 2021, representing about 61% of admissions made in the first six months of 2019, the last full fiscal year unaffected by the pandemic.
The group said it had revised its cinema admission forecast in the short to medium term, due to a slower-than-expected recovery in 2022 and indications of lower theatrical release volume in 2023 and 2024, which would keep inflows below pre-pandemic levels through 2025. .
“This has been a difficult time for Cineworld due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and its delayed and continued disruption to filming schedules,” said Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger.
He expressed his optimism for the future of the company thanks to the success of films such as Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
“We have been encouraged by the gradual and continued recovery of our performances over the past few months – as pandemic restrictions ended, guests returned for popular films,” he said.
“The performance of key blockbusters in the first half, including Top Gun: Maverick; Doctor Strange in the Madnes Multiverses; Jurassic World Dominion; The Batman, exemplifies the continued demand for such special cinematic experiences,” he added.
The group said it had also been encouraged by increases in average ticket prices (ATP) and spending per person (SPP).
“Compared to the same period in 2021, ATP increased by 1.1% while SPP increased by 2.6%. This increase is significantly more pronounced compared to pre-pandemic levels, with ATP up 7.9% and SPP up 26.6% over the same period in 2019,” the group said.
The group noted, however, that there was no indication that ATP and SPP would return to pre-pandemic levels in the short to medium term, especially with the looming cost of living crisis in the backdrop.
Greidinger and Alicja Kornasiewicz, president of Cineworld Group, both addressed the company’s Chapter 11 proceedings.
Kornasiewicz said the restructuring process triggered by the Chapter 11 filing in the United States “would create a more efficient business and a stronger capital structure to better position Cineworld for the future.”