Regal Cinemas profit gets royal 1st qtr. hike

NEW YORK — Higher attendance boosted by the “Star Wars” trilogy and “Liar Liar” translated to an 84% increase in net profit, to $8.5 million, for Regal Cinemas in the first quarter, the company said Wednesday.

The exhibitor said its revenue jumped 40% to $77.4 million, helped both by a 27% increase in the number of screens being operated as well as the strong film slate in the quarter. Regal CEO Michael Campbell said the quarter’s results “exceeded expectations.”

Regal finished the quarter with 1,325 screens at 159 theaters. Campbell said the growth in the screen count is improving operating efficiencies, reflected in administrative expenses as a proportion of revenues falling to 3.6% from 4% a year ago.

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