Sunday 24 September 2017

Superheroes can't halt fall in profits at cinema chain

Gordon Deegan

BOX office receipts from the latest 'Batman' and 'Avengers' blockbusters were not enough to prevent a 37pc drop in operating profits at cinema chain Irish Multiplex Cinemas.

New accounts filed by the Irish-based cinema group owned by members of the Ward family show that operating profits dropped to €600,121 in the 12 months to the end of last October.

The firm recorded a pre-tax loss of €5m after booking a €5.8m impairment charge on the firm's properties. Gross profit declined 10pc to €2.7m. The revenues for the cinema chain included box office receipts from 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Hunger Games', 'Ted' and 'The Amazing Spider Man'.

According to the firm's directors' report: "The profitability of the company in 2012 suffered as a result of the downturn in the general economic climate. The directors anticipate that 2013 will be a difficult year, but they expect the company to achieve profits similar to 2012 by focusing on retaining existing business and tightly monitoring all costs."

The firm – controlled by members of the Ward family – has multiplex cinemas in Dun Laoghaire, Tallaght, Athlone, Dundalk, Killarney and Ballymena.

A note attached to the accounts states that the value of the properties was reviewed in light of the poor state of the economy and the fall in property values.

"The directors think it appropriate that provision be made for the impairment in value of certain of the company's properties and they have written them down to amounts which they deem to fairly represent the current value of those properties," the report says.

DIVIDEND

The filings confirmed that the directors declared and paid a dividend of €216,000 during the year in relation to the year ended October 31, 2010.

However, they state they "deferred the decision on the payment of a dividend in relation to the year ended October 31, 2012, until a later date".

The figures showed that Leo Ward and Paul Ward each owned 28pc of the firm at the end of October 2002. Leo Ward died in January of this year.

Irish Independent

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