Despite recent reports of a probe by regulators, China’s Dalian Wanda Group on Thursday reported a surge in earnings in the first six months of 2017.
The real estate and entertainment conglomerate, headed by Wang Jianlin (pictured) – China’s richest man – reported a 12% increase in revenue compared to the same period last year.
In a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Dalian Wanda’s film arm, Wanda Film Holding Co., reported a 16% increase in revenue from January to June 2017 despite China’s economic and box-office slowdown. As of June 30, Wanda Film recorded operating income of 6.65 billion RMB ($980.1 million). The company runs 455 cinemas housing 4,000 screens.
Earlier this week, Wanda Film said in a disclosure to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange that the company is in the middle of acquiring film-related assets and is suspended from trading for no more than 10 days.
China now boasts the most number of screens in the world, with more than 45,000 screens, compared to 41,000 in North America, according to Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Wang has been making ambitious moves in film and entertainment both in China and Hollywood, including the acquisition of AMC Theatres for $2.6 billion in 2012 and Legendary Entertainment in 2016, as well as the construction of $8.2 billion Wanda Studios in China’s Qingdao, which is expected to be completed next year.
In June, it was reported that Dalian Wanda Group was among the targets of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, which reportedly was probing the fundraising activities of some companies that have been making high-profile acquisitions overseas.