Spanish cinemagoing numbers down by 12%

BRUSSELS — European multiplex group Kinepolis has reported flat earnings from cinemagoers in the first half of this year.

Admissions fell 2.1% across its 22 cinemas in Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland, with growing foyer sales required to register a scant 0.7% increase in coin.

Box office income totaled Euros 66.2 million ($83 million), down 0.9% on the same period last year. This includes virtual print fees that the 100% digital group receives from distributors.

Spain is taking the greatest hit, with admissions down 12% compared with the same period last year. Kinepolis blames the economic crisis and a lack of local films. It also complains that a proposed hike in VAT on ticket sales, from 8% to 21%, will damage B.O. revenue further.

Overall Kinepolis reported an $18.7 million profit, up 7% on last year, driven by business events and promos, real estate income and newly acquired screen advertising business Brightfish.

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