Admissions on the rise for Cinemark

Profits improve by 40%

With digital video grabbing all the headlines, brick-and-mortar exhibs are still very much in the game as theater chain Cinemark saw profits rise 40% last quarter to $47 million.

Revenue grew 14% last quarter to $640 million.

The Plano, Texas, company said admissions rose 13.5% to $417 million. Concession revenue rose14% to $194 million.

Attendance grew 5.6%; ticket prices were up 7.3%; concession sales up 8.5%.

On Sept. 30, Cinemark’s screen count stood at 5,096. It has commitments to open seven new theaters with 60 screens by the end of this year, and open 20 theaters with 220 screens starting next year.

Separately, National CineMedia, the fast-growing company that puts advertising, opera, concerts and other events in Cinemark and other theaters across the country, saw its stock jump by more than 10% Friday in heavy trading after reporting upbeat earnings.

NCM’s third-quarter profit soared 42% to almost $17 million.

Revenue rose 82% to $136 million. Advertising revenue rose 8% to $127 million, Fathom, the events business, saw revenue grow 10% to $8.8 million.

Chairman-CEO Kurt Hall said the numbers reflect “the continued expansion of our digital theater network and the broadening of our national and regional client bases.”

He noted lowered expectations for the current fourth quarter due to a decrease in national scatter spending but thinks that may be short term, especially in the run-up to the presidential primaries and election.

“I remain optimistic about the longer-term prospects for our business. Our total national advertising commitments for 2012 have increased versus last year at this same time and we may benefit in 2012 from the increase in political spending that will crowd marketers out of TV and force them to look to other high quality video platforms, including cinema,” Hall said.

The shares rose $1.21 Friday, up 10.05%, to close at $13.25.