James Bond film Skyfall helps boost Cineworld profits

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Demand for 007 gives movie chain blockbuster profits despite small drop in audience numbers

LAST UPDATED AT 11:40 ON Fri 8 Mar 2013

JAMES BOND thriller Skyfall is not only the most successful British film ever made, its popularity at the box office has also helped UK cinema chain Cineworld post blockbuster profits.

The group, which has 80 cinemas, saw a 15.3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £38.5m for 2012, reports the Daily Express. Revenue grew 3.1 per cent to £358.7m at the firm.

Cineworld chief executive Steve Wiener thanked 007, saying: "It is a British tradition to see the latest Bond film at the movies. Our success this year is thanks to him."

The healthy revenues came despite a one per cent drop in audience numbers due to televised events such as the London Olympics and Euro 2012 last summer. The group's profits were boosted by a five per cent rise in the average price of a ticket and by customers spending more money on refreshments, such as coffee.

Announcing the profits, Wiener said 2013 had also started "well" and the group expects good takings, partially due to growing demands from "older and more affluent" cinema lovers.

The chain plans to roll out new services to attract customers such as allowing them to buy tickets, food and drinks online and collect them in fast-track queues, according to the Financial Times.

Cineworld, which bought City Screen's Picturehouse chain last year, has already announced plans to open another 25 multiplexes by 2017 but Wiener explained their ambitions do not stop there. The CEO, who founded the group in 1995, said there are "a lot of sites out there" as the group continues to expand. · 

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