The exhibition ad sales business appears to be more turbulent than National CineMedia anticipated three months ago. The No. 1 seller of theater ads just dropped its forecast for 2016 revenues to a maximum of $450 million, down 4.9% from the number it projected in May for this year.
NCM lowered its forecast as it reported Q2 results that fell a little short of Wall Street expectations. The company generated $6.8 million, down 32.7% vs the period last year, on revenues of $115.4 million, down 5%.
Analysts thought the top line would be a little higher, at $115.8 million. Earnings at 11 cents a share were short of investor expectations for 14 cents.
CEO Andy England says the results are “solid” compared to last year’s record Q2 numbers.
“While the shift of upfront commitment allocations to the fourth quarter of 2016 and client churn have subdued performance versus the first nine months of 2015, our fourth quarter bookings, proposal activity and progress of this year’s upfront cycle give us confidence in our business for the remainder of the year,” he says. “Looking forward, we remain convinced that our combination of broad national reach, a highly desirable Millennial audience, adjacency to world-class movie studio content, and improvements in our data and targeting capabilities position our unique premium video offering very well for the future.”
National ad sales dropped 6.2% to $83.0 million while local and regional were up 5.4% to $25.3 million.
NCM reports that 172.2 million tickets were sold at theaters in its network in the quarter, down 10.2%. As a result, revenue per attendee increased 5.9% to 67 cents.