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Village plans cutbacks

Loss due to worldwide trend, managing director sez

MELBOURNE — Village Roadshow plans to cut costs and scale back operational territories in its exhibition business after half-yearly figures again revealed the division to be its weakest performer.

The company also said it will employ fresh strategies for selling tickets.

Managing director Graham Burke said Village Cinemas’ A$11.8 million ($6 million) six-month loss was part of a worldwide trend made worse in Oz by last year’s Sydney Olympics and the introduction of a 10% goods and services tax in July.

Village Cinemas’ slump contrasted with the group’s pre-tax net profit of $26.8 million in the six months from July to December.

Roadshow Prod., which has a 40-picture deal with Warners through 2005, returned profits of $10.2 million.

Profits from Austereo radio ($23.2 million) underpinned business while Roadshow Distributors and the theme park division were also in the black, with profits of $1.3 million and $3 million, respectively.

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