Cineworld announced it has been “adversely affected” by the pandemic, with revenue falling to $712.4m (£560m) in the first half of 2020, down from $2.2bn (£1.7bn) the year before.
Adjusted EBITDA also crashed to $53m (£41.7m) in the six-month period, down from the $758.6m (£597m) reported in the first half of 2019. Cineworld said estate-wide closures were to blame for its latest results.
The cinema group also confirmed that 561 out of 778 sites have now reopened, with 200 theatres in the US, six in the UK and 11 in Israel still closed.
It has reported a “steady” performance across its re-opened sites, with an initial admission build-up in the UK and US driven by the release of Tenet and local movies.
Looking ahead, the group said there can be “no certainty” as to the future impact of the pandemic, adding that if governments are to strengthen restrictions on social gathering, it may once again have to close its estate or further push back movie releases.
Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld Group, said: “Despite the difficult events of the last few months, we have been delighted by the return of global audiences to our cinemas toward the end of the first half, as well as by the positive customer feedback we have received from those that have waited patiently to see a movie on the big screen again.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our business and the wider leisure industry has been substantial, with the closures of all of our cinemas worldwide for an extended period. During this unprecedented time, our priority has been the safety and health of our customers and employees, while at the same time preserving cash and protecting our balance sheet.”
He added: “Our mitigating actions included reducing and deferring costs where possible; making use of government support schemes for our employees; partially delaying capital investments; and suspending our dividend.
“Current trading has been encouraging considering the circumstances, further underpinning our belief that there remains a significant difference between watching a movie in a cinema – with high quality screens and best-in-class sounds – to watching it at home.”