Study in black: GC posts profit

NEW YORK — Stronger box office attendance pushed General Cinemas parent GC Cos. Inc. into the black in the April quarter, when it earned $1.6 million compared with a loss of $1.4 million a year earlier, the company said Tuesday.

GC’s revenue jumped 14% to $109 million, lifting operating profit — before investment income, interest and taxes — to $2.8 million from a loss of $162,000 a year ago.

Along with other exhibitors also reporting strong growth in the late winter and early spring, GC CEO Robert Smith credited the turnaround to “revenues generated from popular films such as ‘Liar Liar’ and the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy,” although Smith said the company’s focus on improving margins had helped lift profits as well.

GC’s earnings were dented slightly by a $1.1 million loss on disposition of theater assets compared with a loss of $447,000 a year earlier. Like many other exhibitors, GC has been updating its circuit, building new screens and closing or selling older sites.

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