Canadian movie-theater chain Cineplex (TSX:CGX:CA) has turned higher in Toronto trading Thursday after second-quarter results where it laid claim to its strongest quarter since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company swung to positive earnings per share of C$0.02 from a year-ago loss of C$1.64 per share. That came via an unsurprising 439% jump in revenues (vs. heavy closures a year ago), to C$349.9M.
Theater attendance rose 866% to 11.1M patrons.
Similar jumps were apparent in other metrics, including cash from operations, which rose 175% to C$47.2M. But revenues rose on a per-patron basis as well: Box office revenues per patron gained 13% to C$12.29, while concession revenue per patron rose 12.5% to an all-time record C$8.84.
The success of hits like Top Gun: Maverick, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Jurassic World Dominion is "a testament to the fact that when strong film product is available, Canadians return to our theatres in droves," says Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob.
"As we look forward, we remain confident in the recovery of our businesses, our strong capital management and liquidity, and our efforts to manage financial uncertainties as we have done during previous economic downturns," he added.
The company amended its credit agreement yet again, suspending financial covenant testing until the fourth quarter and suspending its liquidity covenant until March 31, 2023.
It's also bracing for a new round in its litigation with UK-based Cineworld, set for Ontario Court of Appeal hearings on Oct. 12-13.