Cinema group Cineworld annual profit fell on lower revenue as admissions slipped due to the 'strong' comparative film slate and the closure of loss-making sites in the US. The company also warned it could breach the terms of its existing debt agreements under an 'unlikely' worst case scenario amid the impact of the coronavirus. The downside scenario would involve closing all cinemas for between one and three months. This was, however, currently considered unlikely to occur, but 'would indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.' For the year ended 31 December 2019, pre-tax profit fell to $212.4m from $349m as revenue fell 6.2% to $4,369.7m., Revenue in the US, UK & Ireland, decreased by 9.0% and 2.7%, while the rest of the world constant revenue increase 10%. Total admissions decreased by 10.8% year-on-year to 275m. 'The group's performance in 2019 has been softer, largely as a result of the stronger comparative period in 2018 for the US and a tougher competitive environment in the UK,' the company said. Looking ahead, the company said it had observed no material impact on is movie theatre admissions due to COVID-19. But said that would take measures to ensure that it was prepared for all possible eventualities including, but not limited to, capex postponement and cost reduction. 'Following a positive start in January and February, we look forward to the strong film slate for the remainder of 2020,' it added. At 8:27am: (LON:CINE) Cineworld Group PLC share price was -20.83p at 67.57p
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