Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of the Furious lift Cineworld profits

The cinema chain saw pre-tax profits soar during the first half of the year thanks to blockbuster hits such as Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of the Furious.

Multiplex cinema chain Cineworld recorded pre-tax profits of £48.2m for the first six months of the year, a 57.5% rise on the same period last year.

The company, which is Europe’s second largest cinema operator, also reported revenue growth of 17.8% for the period and saw admissions rise by 10% to 50.7 million.

Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld CEO, said: “We are very pleased to report our results for the first half of 2017 - showing strong growth in admissions, revenues, EBITDA and profit after tax.

“We have continued opening new sites as well as refurbishing our top cinemas around the estate and taking great consideration to create better sightlines, bigger screens, better sound and great comfort around the halls in the public areas.

“These cinemas are being embraced by our customers and give a clear message that we believe in the theatrical experience and expect our customers to come to the cinemas again and again.

“This strategy combined with great blockbusters such as Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, The Fate of the Furious and more were the key reasons for this six months success.”

Greidinger is also confident of replicating this success in the second half with even more big hitters set to hit screens over the coming months.

He added: “The film release programme for the second half of the year includes a number of strong titles. The biggest titles in the summer months so far have been Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

“Significant releases still to come in the remainder of 2017 include Justice League, Paddington 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Star Wars: Episode VIII.

“Based on the film slate in the second half and our first half results, we remain confident of delivering a performance for the year as a whole in line with current market expectations."