Regal Entertainment Group earned $37.3 million in the final quarter of 2012 – nearly 10 times more than the $4 million it earned one year earlier – on revenues of $723.1 million (versus $613.9 million).
Analysts knew it would be a better year-end for Regal, which operates operates 6,880 screens in 540 theaters across the country, including the Edwards Valencia and Canyon Country movie theaters – but they underestimated just how good the holiday season would be. Market makers were expecting $705.8 million in revenues and adusted earnings of 21 cents per share; actual adjusted earnings were 28 cents per share (versus 10 cents a year earlier).
Attendance rose by nearly 15 percent to 54.76 million (versus 47.68 million). Average ticket prices rose 18 cents on the year to $8.86 from $8.68, and each patron spent a bit more on sodas and popcorn as the average per-person concession sale rose to $3.44 from $3.34 one year earlier.
During 2012, Regal added 13 theaters and 66 screens to its inventory. The average number of screens per theater rose to 12.7 from 12.6.
Regal CEO Amy Miles said 2012 was a banner year. Pre-tax earnings were never higher, and the margin of revenues over expenses was the best it’s been in six years.
“Looking ahead, we are encouraged by the early 2013 box office results and the films scheduled for release in the coming months,” she said in a statement.