UA Theatres post 2nd qtr. net loss

Number doubles to $30.9 mil

NEW YORK — The United Artists Theatre Group saw its net loss double to $30.9 million in the second quarter, despite operating improvements and a capital restructuring.

The loss not only included a $7.9 million expense for the refinancing of debt and preferred stock in the quarter ended June 30, but was compared with a year-earlier quarter that included an $11.8 million extraordinary gain from the sale of international investments.

The theater chain’s loss came as revenues fell 1.1% to $155.3 million, reflecting what UA president and CEO Kurt C. Hall called the “sale or closure of non-strategic or underperforming theaters and heightened competition in certain markets.”

Cash flow up

As for cash flow, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, UA gained 2% to $16 million. It also reduced its operating loss 45.8% to $4.5 million.

CEO Hall also reported Monday that UA’s refinancing reduced its average cost of capital by 1.5 basis points, while eliminating the need for near-term debt repayments and providing $100 million in borrowing capacity.

He added that six new complexes with 64 screens were opened in the first half of 1998 and that seven new complexes with 91 screens are scheduled to open in the second half, including a 14-screen Union Square stadium theater slated for an October opening in Manhattan.

While United Artists Theatre Group is a privately held company, lead subsidiary United Artists Theatre Co., which operates 2,201 screens in 333 locations, has issued publicly traded debt securities.

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