Black Panther boosts profit with Cineworld

Cineworld’s profits more than doubled last year after film-goers flocked to watch Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.

Pictured: Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther and Letitia Wright as Shuri. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios/Matt Kennedy.

The group made a pre-tax profit of £262.2 million in 2018 compared with £116.5 million a year earlier.

Revenue surged to £3.1 billion from £864 million thanks to record box office results in the US due to the £2.7 billion acquisition of rival Regal Entertainment.

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Box office sales, which accounts for about 60 per cent of revenue, increased to $2.5 billion from $712.7 million.

Revenue in the US increased 8.6 per cent to $3.53 billion, while sales in the UK and Ireland business, which includes the Picturehouse brand, rose 3.3 per cent to £525.3 million.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “We are pleased to announce strong full-year results following the successful acquisition of Regal.

“We are well on our way to achieving the successful business integration following a strong performance and record box office results in the US.

“The combination with Regal has exceeded our expectations - we have incorporated the best of both companies by bringing together world-class talent, integrating best practice from both sides of the Atlantic, and deepened our understanding of the US market.

“Whilst the group has expanded significantly, our strategy and vision remain the same, to be ‘the best place to watch a movie’ by continually focusing on providing the best customer experience, maintaining technological leadership, expanding and upgrading the estate, and training and retaining highly motivated, experienced and loyal staff.”

He said there is a strong film slate for the remainder of the year which includes, Dumbo, Aladdin and Star Wars: Episode IX amongst others. Trading for the current full year is in line with the company’s expectations.

The results come after the cinema chain sector enjoyed a bumper 2018. This week saw the upmarket Everyman chain report a 27.7 per cent jump in revenue to £51.9m.

Last year was a record period for the British cinema industry, with admissions reaching 177 million.