Carmike is back in black

Fourth-largest exhib sees profits return

HOLLYWOOD — Carmike Cinemas returned to the black in 2003, helped by the reinstatement of a deferred tax benefit, but revenue dipped 3% on lower ticket and concession sales.

Columbus, Ga.-based circuit posted a $107.4 million profit on the year, including a $75.3 million tax benefit. That compared with a loss of $39.8 million in 2002.

Some $493.1 million in revenue featured $332.1 million from admissions and $161 million from concessions. Year-earlier revenue of $506.5 million included $342.8 million in ticket sales and $163.7 million from concessions.

Exhib didn’t break out fourth-quarter results in its earnings news release.

“Although attendance was down somewhat, compared to the record year for 2002, we are very pleased with our overall performance in 2003,” Carmike chief financial officer Martin Durant said. “Our recently completed recapitalization has reduced our debt level and provided for greater financial flexibility.”

At year’s end, Carmike operated 299 theaters with 2,253 screens in 35 states, with most properties situated in small- to mid-sized markets. Exhib rates its circuit the nation’s fourth-largest by measure of U.S. screen count.

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