TORONTO — Cineplex Inc. raised its dividend as it reported a first-quarter loss of $7.4 million as fewer people went to the movies.
The theatre company says it will now pay a monthly dividend of 15 cents per share for a total of $1.80 per share on an annual basis, up from 14.5 cents per month for a total of $1.74 on an annual basis.
The loss amounted to 12 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31 as the company made an accounting change related to its lease payments. The result compared with a profit of $15.2 million or 24 cents per share in the first quarter of last year.
Revenue fell to $364.9 million compared with $390.9 million in the first quarter of 2018, when Cineplex benefited from the release of Black Panther in theatres.
Theatre attendance in the quarter was down 15.6 per cent compared with a year ago, while box office revenue per patron edged up to $10.44 compared with $10.21 a year ago.
Concession revenue per patron also rose to $6.35 compared with $6.09 in the first quarter last year.
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The Canadian Press