Cineworld (LON:CINE)proposed on March 7 to pay a final dividend of 8p per share for last year which will lift the full-year payout to 11.8p, up 7.3 percent on 2011, based on the company’s strong performance in 2012.
The multiplex cinema chain reported a 15.3 percent rise in pre-tax profit to ₤38.5 million and a 3.1 percent higher revenue of ₤358.7 million.
“I am delighted with the overall progress made in 2012, with revenues up and a strong increase in profits, with adjusted EPS up 10.4 percent from 2011,”chief executive officer Stephen Wiener said.
Cineworld remained the largest operator in the UK with a box office market share of 25.9 percent last year, compared to 26.1 percent in 2011 and ahead of its rivals Odeon and Vue. Total admissions for the cinema chain declined by one percent to 47.8 million due to the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and the Euro 2012 football championship but the decline was offset by strong ticket sales for James Bond’s Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises.
The number of subscribers to Cineworld’s “Unlimited” programme, which allows customers to watch as many movies as they like every month and includes meal discounts, reached 320,000 at the end of 2012, up from 280,000 in 2011.
“The Unlimited programme is one of the pillars that underpin our strategy of growing other revenues and admissions,” the company said. “The Unlimited programme brings to the Group the financial benefits of regular subscription income thereby reducing the level of fluctuation in our revenues contributing over 17 percent of total box office in 2012.”
The multiplex cinema chain said it had a stellar start in 2013 thanks to blockbusters Django Unchained and Les Misérables and expects the push to continue with its current pipeline of film releases including Oz the Great and Powerful with Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis starring. Cineworld will also enjoy a few “proven franchises” that will surely bring crowds to its venues, including the latest films in The Hobbit, Iron Man and Star Trek series. The company will be opening a further 25 sites by 2017 to accommodate a growing number of movie goers.
The Financial Times reports that Cineworld plans to roll out new online services, such as giving customers the option to order food and drink when they buy their tickets online and pick their orders up right before the screening starts without having to wait in lines.
!m[The Cinema Chain Plans New Online Services, To Add 25 Sites by 2017](/uploads/story/1597/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
**Analysts Rating Updates**
Cineworld received a number of rating updates from research firms and brokerages in the last two weeks:
CanaccordGenuity reaffirmed its “buy” rating and lifted its price target from ₤3.50 to ₤3.53.
Numis Securities reaffirmed its “add” rating with a price target of ₤3.10.
Investec raised its price target from ₤2.95 to ₤3.10 with a “buy” rating.
Panmure Gordon reaffirmed its “sell “rating and its price target of ₤2.38.
**Cineworld’s share price was ₤2.7975 as of08.03.2013, 12.50 GMT.**