UA reports narrowed loss

Hall praises management, employees for focus

United Artists Theatres, the big U.S. exhib that recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorg after a takeover by entertainment entrepreneur Philip Anschutz, posted a narrowed annual loss Tuesday of $123.6 million despite lower revenue following theater closings. The Denver-based company reported red ink totaling $127.3 million in 1999.

Annual revenue slid 13% to $550.3 million. UA now operates 1,599 screens in 213 locations after shuttering hundreds during its restructuring. The company filed for reorg on Sept. 5 last year and emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings on March 2 this year.

Happy with improvement

“I am very pleased that we were able to improve our operating results despite the disruption to our business caused by our Chapter 11 proceedings,” CEO Kurt Hall said. “I am extremely proud of our management and employees for their focus and hard work, and thankful for the support of the studios and other business partners during this very difficult restructuring process.”

Acknowledging its emergence from Chapter 11, Standard & Poor’s on Monday raised UA’s bond rating to a speculative, or “junk,” B-rating from a previous D rating that reflected a default. UA is privately held but reports financial results because of its publicly traded debt.

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