Everyman Cinemas (EMAN.L) swung to a major loss in 2020 with its venues closed for five months, as its business was “severely impacted by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions.” But it is hopeful that things will improve once rules ease over the summer.
Its operating loss was £19.2m ($26.4m), down from a £4.8m profit in 2019, and total revenue was £24.2m, down from £65 compared to the previous year.
The company's shares fell 3% on Thursday morning.
Its year included only 10 weeks of normal trading conditions, plus 25 weeks of full closure and 17 weeks of disrupted trading due to COVID-19 restrictions. Admissions were down 63% year-on-year.
It said its trading performance during the summer reopening period was encouraging, despite limited new content, and it managed to maintain a strong balance sheet boosted by a £16.9m fundraise in April 2020.
It also increased its available banking facility to £40m and managed to get rent concessions by working closely with landlords. ·
CEO Alex Scrimgeour, who joined in January, said his team “minimised all costs during periods of closure, strengthened the group's balance sheet, worked with our landlords to achieve rent concession and not least, remained actively engaged with our people and customers throughout.”
Everyman now believes it is in a good position to perform strongly once restrictions ease and has "venues that are well designed for a post-COVID environment."
As per prime minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap to ease lockdown rules, indoor hospitality venues will have to wait until at least 17 May to see restrictions lifted.
“We are highly optimistic for the coming year post-lockdown and continue to be confident in people's appetite to safely socialise and be entertained; we believe we will be in a strong position once it is safe to welcome back our customers and teams,” Everyman said.
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“The coming year's film slate is strong and varied, set to entertain people of all ages and demographics across the UK,” it added.
It said it has expanded its menu offering and upgraded kitchens, made light refurbishments in a number of venues and upskilled staff by offering training during lockdown.
“Whilst uncertainty does of course remain around the future, we are eager to welcome back customers and look forward to providing them with an exceptional experience out, so deserved after nearly a year at home,” the company said.
Earlier, the UK Cinema Association had said it was disappointed by Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown: "while - given the exemplary record of cinemas in delivering a safe big screen experience before this latest lockdown - we are disappointed not to have an earlier opening date than mid-May, it is good at least to have some confirmation."