Imax looking up

Earnings Brief

TORONTO — Toronto-based large-screen exhibitor Imax beat analyst expectations Thursday, posting a solid uptick on revenues for the first quarter as the company’s new theater systems prove a hit with exhibitors worldwide.

The company posted earnings of $1.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, a turnaround from $896,000 in red ink a year ago.

Revenue climbed 26% to $31.4 million, including systems revenue of $22.1 million, an increase of 38%; film revenue up 10% to $4.9 million; and theater operations revenue that held steady at $3.8 million. Earnings also include the settlement of litigation for breach of contract with former owners of UCI in which Imax received payments of between $4.5 million and $6.5 million.

Between the time of the introduction in June of the cheaper MPX version of the Imax system, ideal for retrofitting existing commercial multiplex theaters, and the end of the quarter, the company inked deals for 41 new Imax MPX commercial screens. That includes 12 signings (10 of which were MPX) in the most recent quarter alone, triple the number of system signings a year ago, with exhibitors in South Korea, China, India, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the U.S.

BERLIN — While Internationalmedia‘s first-quarter revenue plunged 74% to E8 million ($10.4 million), company was back in the black with a net profit of $1.8 million vs. a $5.4 million loss in the period last year, the film group said Wednesday.

Positive result stems from the start of production on new films, which have generated financing fees.

In addition, quarterly overhead fell 18% to under $3.6 million and writedowns on film development totaled just under $2.2 million compared with $5.6 million in 2004.

Martin Schuermann replaced Moritz Borman as CEO in April; Borman will continue to develop projects for the company.

— Ed Meza

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