Box office hits including the James Bond movie No Time to Die helped the Irish arm of the Odeon cinema group to narrow its pretax losses by 47 per cent to €5.24 million in 2021.
New accounts filed by United Cinemas International (Ireland) Ltd show that revenues increased by 75 per cent from €8.27 million to €14.48 million as the cinema group benefited from the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The company operates 77 screens in the Republic. It availed of €4.15 million in Government Covid-19 grant income in 2021.
The Covid-19 support comprised €3.25 million in employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS) payments and €891,647 in Covid recovery support scheme (CRSS) payments.
Within the accounts, the company’s directors noted that a more robust slate of movie releases for 2022 has generated optimism for cinema attendance levels to improve gradually, as experienced in 2021.
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In 2021, cinema attendances across the State increased by two million to 5.8 million but fell far short of pre-Covid 19 attendances of 15.1 million in 2019.
Cinemas were closed here until June 7th, 2021, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
In accounts signed off on December 14th last, the directors said that “as we continue our recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 on our business, our aggregate attendance levels are significantly behind pre-pandemic levels”.
The accounts show the strongest performing movies for 2021 along with No Time To Die starring Daniel Craig, included Spider-Man: No Way Home, Dune, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Peter Rabbit 2.
The average cinema ticket price for the year was €7.80, and the average food and beverage spend was €5.92.
The total revenues of €14.48 million included box office revenues of €7.75 million and retail revenues of €5.88 million. The revenues also included €734,000 in “other revenues” and €116,000 in screen advertising income. The operator’s market share in the State grew by 1.18 percentage points to 17.48 per cent.
Numbers employed by the company decreased from 335 to 284 and staff costs increased from €3.06 million to €5.4 million.
The business reduced its operating losses by 67.5 per cent from €8.96 million to €2.9 million. It had a shareholders’ deficit of €15.64 million at the end of December 2021 while its cash funds increased from €1.03 million to €6.45 million.
The Irish based-company is part of Odeon Cinemas Europe, which is Europe’s largest cinema exhibitor, operating in nine countries.