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Thu 12th Mar 2015 - Update: Eagle Eye, Cineworld, Essenden
Eagle Eye to raise £4m: Eagle Eye, the provider of digital consumer engagement solutions to the retail and hospitality industries, is raising £4m by placing 2,013,114 new shares, representing approximately 9.99% of the company’s existing ordinary share capital. The placing will be used to accelerate investment in product development and increase sales and marketing resources. Chief executive Phill Blundell stated: “Eagle Eye is capitalising on its strong growth and momentum. The proceeds of the placing will allow us to accelerate our exploitation of ever increasing opportunities in the digital market both in the UK and internationally.” Sales increased 276% to £2.3m in the six months ended 31 December 2014. Gross profit was £1.5m, an increase of 200%. It won three industry awards for its Greggs app. 

Cineworld reports pre-tax profit of £67.3m: Cinema operator Cineworld has reported sales of £619.4m in the 53 weeks to 1 January, up 1.7%. Pre-tax profit was £67.3m and Ebitda was up 7.4% to £126.6m. Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “We are pleased to announce solid results for the year and strong cash generation following the successful combination of Cineworld and Cinema City. The combination has resulted in the creation of the second largest cinema chain in Europe, with 203 sites and 1,875 screens by the end of 2014. As a Group, we have outperformed the market and continued to grow revenues despite a year that saw a decline in global admissions. During the year we have continued to expand our estate by opening four new cinemas (St Neots and Telford in the UK and Ploiesti and Targu Jiu in Romania) adding 29 screens. Our strong performance, solid balance sheet and increased profitability have enabled us to propose a dividend of 13.5p per share which represents growth of 33.7%. 2015 has the makings of a strong year with great titles to look forward to including the new Bond film “Spectre”, the fourth and final Hunger Games movie “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and the latest Star Wars film “Star Wars: Episode VII”. In the meantime, the current year has started strongly with titles such as “Taken 3” performing well. “Fifty Shades of Grey”, which opened in February 2015, went beyond our expectations and helped us to achieve record levels of weekend admissions for the Group. We are contracted to open a further ten cinemas in the UK and ten in CEE and Israel during the year. Of these sites, 19 new sites are currently under construction. Overall, the strength of the film line up in the current year, coupled with our good pipeline of new sites across our international estate, gives us confidence that we are on track with our plans for 2015.”

Essenden reports 2014 like-for-likes up 6.6%: Bowling alley operator Essenden like-for-likes grew by 6.6% in the 52 weeks ended 28 December 2014. Adjusted profit before tax increased by 59% to £3.2m. Sales increased from £45.6m to £46.8m despite four sites having been closed in 2013 and early 2014. Like-for-like growth has slowed to 4.2% (after increasing by 13.5% in the first 11 weeks of 2014) for the ten weeks to 8 March 2015. Chief executive Nick Basing said: “These excellent results are the reward for the strategy that was put in place five years ago and the tireless efforts of all the team. This business is now on a solid growth path, performing well and is lined up for further profitable progress. After the loan note conversion, we have an optimal capital structure and are well set for the future. The current year has begun in a positive vein.”

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