Cineworld (LON:CINE) posted its full-year results on Thursday, revealing a rise in its pre-tax profits boosted by performance in the U.S. Shares in the business were up by over 6.5% during early trading on Thursday on the back of the cinema chain’s strong results.
Beginning operations in 1996, the aquisition of US-based Regal Entertainment earlier last year has made the chain a global operator. The FTSE 250 firm is the second largest cinema chain in the world following the £2.7 billion deal.
In cinema, 2018 saw the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Aquaman, Deadpool 2, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, and many more titles.
Pre-tax profits increased by 125% to $349 million for the 12-month period to 31 December. Additionally, revenue soared by 259.1% coming in at $4.12 billion. Its US, UK and Rest of the World divisions grew 8.6%, 3.3% and 3.6% respectively.
In its U.S segment, box office revenue represented 60.5% of total revenue. Hits such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and the Incredibles 2 drove performance in America. These top three films throughout the year together grossed $1,797 million.
In 2017, the top U.S titles were Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman, grossing $1285.5 million together.
In the UK, box office revenue represented 65% of total revenue. The three top grossing films for the year were Avengers: Infinity War, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and the Incredibles 2.
“2018 was a transformative year for the Cineworld Group,” Anthony Bloom, Chairman of Cineworld Group, commented in its full-year results.
“The acquisition of Regal on 28 February made us into a global operator and the second largest cinema chain in the world. By the end of 2018, the Group was operating 9,518 screens in 790 sites across 10 countries,” he continued.
Cineworld also reported strong figures last year after an increase in demand during 2017.
2019 is set to be an exciting year for cinema as The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars are ready to hit screens. The Lego Movie 2, Dumbo, Aladdin, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Men In Black: International are also being released this year.
Cineworld has said that trading for the current full year remains in line with expectations.
At 09:30 GMT Thursday, shares in Cineworld Group plc (LON:CINE) were trading at +6.71%.