Cineworld said Thursday pre-tax profits more than doubled led by strong performance in its U.S. business as a record number of moviegoers flocked to its theatres to watch box office hits. For the 12 months to 31 December 2018, pre-tax profits 125% to $284.3m. Revenue jumped 259.1% to $4.12bn. with its US, UK, and Rest of World (ROW) revenue segments growing 8.6%, 3.3%, and 3.6%, respectively. Group admissions increased by 2.6% to a record 308m driven by strong film slate in the US, the positive impact of the ongoing refurbishment programme and the continued roll-out of the company's premium formats. Action movies such as 'Black Panther' and 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Incredibles 2' boosted revenues in the US. Box office revenue, which makes up about 60% of revenues, grew 5.1% to £2.50bn for the year. Cineworld opened 13 new sites during the year; six in the US, six in the UK and one in Romania. The company recommended a final dividend of 10.15 cents, taking dividends for the full year to 15 cents, up 17.6% on last year. 'We are pleased to announce strong full year results following the successful acquisition of Regal. We are well on our way to achieving the successful business integration following a strong performance and record box office results in the US,' said Mooky Greidinger, Chief Executive Officer of Cineworld Group. 'The combination with Regal has exceeded our expectations - we have incorporated the best of both companies by bringing together world-class talent, integrating best practice from both sides of the Atlantic and deepened our understanding of the US market.' 'We look forward to the strong film slate for the remainder of the year. Upcoming movies include "Captain Marvel", "Dumbo", "Shazam!", "Avengers: Endgame", "Aladdin", "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", "Toy Story 4", "Spider-Man: Far from Home", "The Lion King", "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw", "It: Chapter 2", "Frozen 2", "Jumanji 2" and "Star Wars: Episode IX" and many more. Trading for the current full year remains in line with our expectations. '
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