Cineworld profits soar on string of blockbusters

Jurassic World helped boost Cineworld's takings
Jurassic World helped boost Cineworld's takings
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Blockbuster Star Wars and James Bond releases should help Cineworld beat full-year targets after the group yesterday posted a rise of more than a fifth in profits for the first half of 2015.

Underlying earnings for the 26 weeks to 2 July were up 22.5 per cent on the same period last year on a like-for-like basis boosted by releases such as Fifty Shades of Grey and Jurassic World.

The earnings figure of £64.7 million was 41 per cent ahead before adjusting for the fact that Cineworld bought eastern Europe and Israel focused Cinema City in February 2014. Cineworld had already revealed in a trading update last month that box office takings in the UK and Ireland climbed 10.5 per cent, with admissions up 2.5 per cent, and by 10.9 per cent across the wider group, where admissions climbed by 5.4 per cent.

The average ticket price in the UK and Ireland rose 7.9 per cent to £6.02 driven by higher prices as well as a greater proportion of adults buying tickets.

Erotic thriller Fifty Shades took more than £30m in this region but was beaten by Jurassic World at £51m and Avengers: The Age of Ultron at £48.3m, both of which were available in premium 3D and IMAX formats.

The group has 210 cinemas including 102 in the UK, 21 of them in the Picturehouse chain.