All exhibition chains struggled with the weak box office in early 2012. But Carmike suffered from a triple whammy in Q1 as it recorded $12.3M in interest expenses — due in part to the additional leverage to finance its acquisition of Rave’s theaters at the end of 2012 — as well as about $3.1M in charges to cancel leases for underperforming theaters. The company ended up with a net loss of $5.8M, down from a $3.2M profit in the period a year ago, on revenues of $130.1M, +0.1%. The top line was right about where analysts expected. But the net loss of 33 cents a share contrasts with forecasts for a seven cent profit. Revenues from admissions fell 1.4% to $81.5M as the rise in the price of the average ticket — to $7.02 from $6.68 — was offset by the 4.6% drop in attendance to 11.6M. Even so, concessions revenues rose 2.7% to $48.6M, as the average concessions sales per patron rose 27 cents to $4.18. The company says that the increase reflects the success of its experiments and efforts to promote high-margin goodies. “Last year’s first quarter box office benefited from a strong and well-balanced film slate, creating a challenging year-over-year comparison for the industry,” CEO Dave Passman says. But Q2 “is off to a strong start,” he adds, and “we expect the positive momentum to continue throughout the summer as the upcoming release calendar features a strong movie slate with several highly anticipated titles.”
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