(Adds details, CFO and analyst comments, share movement)
July 3 Cineworld Group Plc said
box-office revenue on a pro forma basis for the first half rose
1.5 percent, even as the largest British cinema operator saw
lower admissions due to the soccer World Cup.
The company's box-office revenue in the UK fell 0.6 percent
in the six months ended June 26, but it was significantly lower
than the nearly 6 percent fall in the overall market, Chief
Financial Officer Philip Bowcock told Reuters.
Total revenue rose 33.2 percent after accounting for
Cineworld's acquisition of Polish chain Cinema City
International in January, making it the second biggest cinema
operator in Europe, behind privately held Odeon & UCI
Cineworld's presence in multiple regions helped it mute the
effect of the soccer World Cup to only certain countries, J.P.
Morgan Cazenove analyst Alexander Mees said in a note to
Bowcock said Cineworld's UK business was the worst affected
by the world cup, specifically around England.
Cineworld, which operates cinemas in the UK, Ireland and
eastern European countries like Hungary and Bulgaria, continued
to see opportunities to grow market share and open cinemas,
according to Bowcock.
The company plans to open another 64 screens across Europe
and UK in the second half of the year, and was banking on a
strong lineup of films slated for release, including the latest
instalment of the Transformers series.
Shares in Cineworld, which owns more than 1,800 screens,
were trading up nearly 1 percent at 340 pence at 0902 GMT on the
London Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by