Odeon business could be put up for sale

Fri, 28 Aug 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

A business sale could be on the cards for the Odeon cinema chain after its owner Terra Firma confirmed the company has been pushed back into profit.

A total of 243 cinemas are operated by the Odeon and UCI chains in the UK and Europe and while it had struggled with a £40 million loss last year, things are looking up in 2015.

The chain reported a £14.5 million profit for the first half of the year, thanks largely to a string of big budget action films which have tempted audiences out to the cinema. Jurassic World, Fast & Furious 7 and the Avengers: Age of Ultron have all worked in Odeon's favour to encourage customers.

Paul Donovan, chief executive of Odeon last year, said that more blockbusters are coming and that the fourth quarter of the year will be “one of the biggest quarters ever in the UK market”.

However, while it has been acknowledged that a sale is due before the end of the year, Mr Donovan refused to be drawn further on details in discussions with The Telegraph: “It's completely up to Terra Firma when and how a sale of the business would be executed. My job is to make sure that if that's the case there's a business which is performing really well and delivering for customers and shareholders.

“I think we're making good progress with our strategic changes. There's a lot been done and a lot more to do.”

Terra Firma bought Odeon and UCI 11 years ago for €650m and €350m respectively. The owner merged the two into one.

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