Monday 25 September 2017

Superhero movies boost Ward family cinema profits

Blockbuster films like Batman v Superman, which took €2.8m at the box office, helped the Ward family boost profits at its chain of cinemas
Blockbuster films like Batman v Superman, which took €2.8m at the box office, helped the Ward family boost profits at its chain of cinemas

Gordon Deegan

Blockbusters including 'Batman v Superman' and 'Dead Pool' helped one of the Ward family movie firms to increase its profits by 33pc to €1.28m last year.

According to new accounts filed by Irish Multiplex Cinemas, the business enjoyed profits of €1.28m and this followed profits of €965,287 in 2015. The firm is one of a number of Irish cinema firms operated by the Ward family who own the Savoy cinema in Dublin which plays host to many movie premieres.

The firm has multiplex cinemas in Dun Laohgaire, Athlone, Dundalk, Killarney and Ballymena.

The firm paid a dividend of €207,000 last year the same as 2015.

The firm's accumulated profits increased from €7.991m to €9.068m and at the end of December last, shareholder funds totalled €11.35m

Ireland, with France, had the joint highest per capita cinema attendance in Europe last year.

The Ward business was also helped last year by the largest grossing movies of the year including 'Bridget Jones's Baby' - €4.1m; 'Finding Dory' - €3.52m; 'The Secret Life of Pets' €3.4m; 'The Jungle Book' - €3.15m; 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find To Them' - €2.923m; 'Batman v Superman; Dawn of Justice' - €2.8m; 'Suicide Squad' - €2.77m; 'Rogue One' - €2.71m; 'Deadpool' - €2.57m and 'Captain America; Civil War' - €2.4m.

The firm's cash increased last year reduced from €2.7m to €990,994.

Numbers employed by the firm last year increased from 42 to 44 made up of 34 in operations and 10 in administration.

Staff costs at the firm increased from €811,708 to €832,053 while directors received no remuneration.

The Wards and Andersons controlled about half of the Irish cinema market between them until they went their separate ways in 2013.

Half brothers Leo Ward and Kevin Anderson went into business together in the 1940s. The extended families fell out over plans by the Andersons to open a new cinema in Dublin to compete with their joint operations.

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