viewCineworld Group PLC

Cineworld to be boosted by pre-Christmas blockbusters

The new James Bond film Spectre gave it a strong start to the fourth quarter.

The final Hunger Games - 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' looks set to boost fourth quarter figures

Cineworld (LON:CINE) is set for a blockbuster end to the year after the new James Bond film 'Spectre' gave it a strong start to the fourth quarter.

While the third quarter was slower due to an uninspiring raft of releases, as expected, the fourth quarter has started strongly.

The unusual decision to release the new Bond film on a Monday paid off for the UK market box office, which saw admissions rise by 60% over the last six weekends.

It broke box office records by becoming the highest grossing movie on a Tuesday, with takings of £6.3mln beating the opening day of £6.2mln by 'Skyfall' in 2012.

This boosted Cineworld’s admissions growth, which has risen in all territories except Slovakia in the 46 weeks to November 19.

It all looks to be picking up for Cineworld, as there are still two major releases, the final Hunger Games - 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' - and 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', due for release before Christmas.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The group’s total revenues for the year to date are up by nearly 12% and with the final 'Hunger Games' movie and a new 'Star Wars' film set for release, the group is set to meet its full-year forecasts.”

Shares were flat at around 535p today.

Broker Peel Hunt said, with the company performing so well, attention has already turned to next year.

“There is no doubt 2015 is going to be a vintage year for UK box office and that 2016 will find it tough to beat,” the broker said.

However, it adds, 2016 has a good chance of being a better than average year for the industry, including the first of many Star Wars spin-offs.

Overall, the broker reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation and target price of 634p, saying the company’s long term prospects remain encouraging.

Quick facts: Cineworld Group PLC

Price: 26.11 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £358.44 m

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