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Reorganized exhib posts profit in final report

Exhib United Artists Theatres, which recently emerged from bankruptcy reorganization under new ownership, on Monday credited more successful movies for helping the company return to the black in the first quarter.

The Denver-based exhib also enjoyed a one-time gain of $187.6 million for debt forgiveness achieved during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

UA said theater lease terms reached during the reorg also helped shape the improved bottom line. Exhib posted a $222 million profit in the latest quarter compared with a $10.4 million loss a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose 2% to $128.5 million as admissions climbed 3% and concession sales were flat.

Operating cash flow also benefited from the “more favorable film release schedule (and) the elimination and renegotiation of certain theater leases,” the company said.

In touting the quarterly results, CEO Kurt Hall lauded “the hard work of our people during a very difficult time.”

Pix, tix, leases & shutters

A group led by entertainment entrepreneur Philip Anschutz took control of UA Theatres Circuit and parent UA Theatres Co. during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

UA is one of several big circuits to file for bankruptcy reorganization to solve a debt hangover from the industrywide building binge. In January the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., approved the exhib’s reorganization plan, under which the Anschutz group was awarded control of the circuit in return for agreeing to cover UA debt.

In addition to renegotiating many theater leases, the circuit shuttered dozens of properties in the restructuring. UA now operates 1,588 screens in 212 theaters.

Meanwhile, UA said it will no longer report financial results in future quarters. Company has routinely reported quarterly results because, though privately held, it had public debt. As a result of its reorganization, exhib no longer has such debt securities.