Skyfall Success Helps Cineworld's Profit Rise
Cineworld has reported a 15% rise in pre-tax profit to £38.5m, as Skyfall - the "outstanding film of 2012" - helped increase sales.
A hike in average ticket price - to £5.26 - drove an increase of almost 4% in box office sales which resulted in revenue hitting £356.2m.
The company said the latest James Bond offering was the "outstanding film of 2012" and had grossed in excess of £100m at the UK boss office to date, making it the most successful film ever in Britain.
The Dark Knight Rises and Marvel Avengers Assemble also performed well, exceeding £50m at the box office.
Over the year, the group opened a seven screen cinema in Aldershot and expanded its IMAX offerings to eight cinemas
It also broadened its target market by acquiring the Picturehouse chain of cinemas for £47.3m in December last year.
The 21 cinemas are smaller, with five or less screens, and focus on showing non-mainstream and specialised films.
The group's chairman, Anthony Bloom, said strong sales were recorded despite events like the Diamond Jubilee, the Euros and Olympics which "adversely affected cinema attendance".
But the chain's market share fell slightly to 24.7%, which Mr Bloom said was due to its rivals - including Odeon and Vue - acquiring more cinemas.
The chief executive of the company, which increased its dividend by more than 7% to 11.8p, said the new year had started well.
"There is an attractive release schedule for the year which we expect to play well with our differentiated programming strategy," Stephen Wiener said.
"In addition, there is little in the way of major events to distract cinema goers."
It plans to open new four new cinemas over 2013, including taking over the Glasgow Science Centre's IMAX.
"Together with the strong film schedule these will help maintain our strong market position and underpin growth in 2013," he added.