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Higher ticket prices and more snacking lift AMC revenues

Updated: 2014-02-26T03:52:30Z

By MARK DAVIS

The Kansas City Star

Higher ticket prices and increased snacking offset a decline in the number of moviegoers at AMC Theatres in the final months of 2013, the Leawood-based chain’s parent company said Tuesday.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., in its first report since its shares began to trade publicly in December, said revenues reached $713 million in the fourth quarter. The revenues, a record, were up 2.3 percent from a year earlier.

Profits were skewed by a $265.6 million recovery from its tax allowances that did not generate any cash for the company but ballooned its reported profits.

Earnings totaled $279.6 million with the tax benefit, or $3.58 a share. A year earlier, AMC Entertainment earned $373,000 on sales of $697 million in the fourth quarter.

The recent public stock offering left China-based Dalian Wanda Group with controlling ownership, and it raised $355.3 million for AMC.

AMC also refinanced part of its debts, which total $2 billion.

Gerry Lopez, chief executive of AMC, said the quarter’s record revenues stem from the company’s loyalty program, called AMC Stubs, and from outpacing the industry’s “box office performance” in the United States.

“Our five strategic action fronts, led by innovations in comfort and convenience as well as our enhanced food and beverage offerings, are changing industry standards,” Lopez said in the company’s announcement.

AMC said attendance fell 3.2 percent in the quarter compared with the end of 2012. A 5.5 percent increase in average ticket prices and a 3.7 percent increase in food and beverage revenues per customer allowed the company to report record revenues.

For all of 2013, AMC said it earned $364.4 million, including the tax benefit, on $2.75 billion in revenues. Its comparable 2012 results showed earnings of $46 million on $2.65 billion in revenues.

AMC shares gained 8 cents and closed at $22.47 before the company’s earnings report.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to mdavis@kcstar.com.

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