TOP NEWS: Cineworld To Temporarily Shutter Cinemas In UK And US

(Alliance News) - Shares in Cineworld Group PLC plunged on Monday after the company said it will ...

Alliance News 5 October, 2020 | 8:38AM
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(Alliance News) - Shares in Cineworld Group PLC plunged on Monday after the company said it will temporarily suspend operations at all its 536 Regal theatres in the US and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK starting Thursday.

Shares in the FTSE 250-listed cinema operator plunged 41% to 23.86 pence each, making it the worst performer in the index on Monday. The stock has collapsed 89% in the year-to-date.

Cineworld stated that while the decision was not made lightly, the continued closure of major US markets and uncertainty regarding the timing of re-openings has made studios reluctant to release their pipeline of new films.

The firm's statement comes just days after the release of the latest James Bond film was pushed back again.

Daniel Craig's final outing as spy James Bond will not hit big screens until next April, it was announced on Friday. No Time To Die was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but was first pushed back to November as a result of the pandemic.

Cineworld noted the closures would affect around 45,000 jobs, as it highlighted a focus on cash preservation and cost reduction during a period of reduced customer visits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In September, the company said it was assessing several sources of additional liquidity and considering all liquidity raising options.

Looking ahead, Chief Executive Mooky Greidinger said: "Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen."

By Ife Taiwo; ifetaiwo@alliancenews.com

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