Blockbuster boost: Odeon profits more than double

The stars of Fast and Furious 7
The stars of Fast and Furious 7
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Blockbusters including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fast & Furious 7 and Jurassic World helped Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group more than double its underlying earnings at the half-year stage.

The group, which has 113 cinemas across the UK, said bookings leapt 13.8 per cent to 42.9 million in the six months to the end of June thanks to the strong line-up of summer releases.

Odeon also said sales were boosted after it axed online booking fees in the UK in April, as well as introducing more flexible pricing depending on demand and increasing staff training to improve customer service.

A 17.7 per cent rise in revenues helped Odeon’s underlying pre-tax profits surge to £37.3m, up from £18.4m a year earlier.

The private equity-owned firm is now pinning its hopes on an “exciting” string of second-half releases, including James Bond film Spectre and the seventh instalment in the Star Wars saga.

Group chief executive Paul Donovan said: “It has been a fantastic year so far for cinema.”