Cineplex reports lower profit and lower attendance

Shares of Cineplex Inc. fell Wednesday after the company reported a drop in second-quarter profit compared with a year ago as fewer people filled its theatres.
A Cineplex theatre is shown in Ottawa in this May 2015 photo. The company reported lower second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Shares of Cineplex Inc. fell Wednesday after the company reported a drop in second-quarter profit compared with a year ago as fewer people filled its theatres.

The stock fell as low as $41.50 before recovering some of the ground it lost. Cineplex ultimately finished the day at $45.43, down more than eight per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company said it earned $1.4 million or two cents per share in its latest quarter, down from a profit of $7.2 million or 12 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue improved to $364.1 million, up from $338.0 million in the same quarter last year.

Cineplex chief executive Ellis Jacob says the overall growth in revenue was due primarily to higher amusement revenue from the company's growth and diversification.

Amusement revenue improved to $45.7 million compared with $24.6 million a year ago, boosted by the company's acquisitions of Tricorp Amusements Inc. and SAW last year and Dandy Amusements International Inc. earlier this year.

Meanwhile, box office revenue totalled $170.7 million, up from $166.7 million, while attendance slipped to 16.5 million compared with 16.9 million a year ago.

Food service revenue grew to $101.4 million compared with $96.8 million, while media revenue fell to $36.6 million from $40.2 million in the same quarter last year.

Box office revenue per patron improved to $10.36 compared with $9.89 a year ago, while concession revenue per patron grew to $6.03, up from $5.74.

Cineplex has been working to diversify beyond movies.

Last week, the company announced an exclusive partnership deal to open Topgolf entertainment complexes, which combine a driving range with other entertainment options across the country over the next several years.

Cineplex is also looking to expand its Rec Room complexes, which include eateries, live entertainment and games, across Canada.