Imax loss narrows as Asian audiences return to cinema in ‘impressive numbers’

Imax Corp. said it had a loss of $14.8 million, or 25 cents a share, in the first quarter, narrower than the loss of $49.4 million, or 82 cents a share, posted in the year-earlier period, as cinemagoers in Asia returned to screens as coronavirus pandemic restrictions were lifted. The company said its adjusted per-share loss was also 25 cents, a penny better than the 26 cents loss consensus of FactSet analysts. Revenue rose 11% to $38.8 million from $34.9 million a year ago, a squeak below the $39.0 million FactSet consensus. “Audiences across Asia continue to rediscover the theatrical experience in impressive numbers, driving record-breaking box office and accelerating the continued shift to blockbusters at the multiplex,” Chief Executive Richard L. Gelfond said in a statement. “As Hollywood tentpoles return to theaters, the recovery is spreading to North America and key additional markets including Russia, and Saudi Arabia with the summer season ahead.” Imax delivered global box office of $110 million for the quarter, its first quarterly growth since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The company enjoyed a record-breaking Chinese New Year opening weekend, with number-one and number-two highest grossing Japanese local language releases of all time. It also enjoyed its strongest North American opening of the pandemic period with “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which also performed well in Mexico, Russia, Spain, and Saudi Arabia. Imax ended the quarter with $267.8 million in cash and total debt of $283 million. Shares were down 0.8% premarket but have gained 23% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11.4%.

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