Kinepolis sees drop in auds

July ticket sales down for pan-European exhib

This article was updated at 5:00 p.m. PT on August 10, 2003.

BRUSSELS — Exhibitor Kinepolis is blaming July’s 8% dip in ticket sales on Europe’s sizzling weather.

Ticket sales in Belgium, France, Poland, Spain and Switzerland dropped to 11,156,966.

In Belgium the drop was a massive 20% at 860,913 tickets, down from 1,070,269 in 2002.

Kinepolis is forecasting a loss for the first half of 2003 but expects to break even over the year. The company’s share price has been recovering after an alarming fall to e7 ($7.56) in March.

Kinepolis is still suffering from its disastrous 1999 acquisition of German chain CinemaxX, which pushed it into the red.

It is now selling moviehouses to concentrate on its core markets of Belgium, France and Spain, and it is negotiating the sale of its Polish plex in the city of Poznan. Exhib has a 68% stake in the operation, with Belgian VC Deficom holding the rest.