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Force result not a pretty picture

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 13th September 2000

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Cinema operator Force has made a loss of nearly $7 million for the full year to the end of June compared with last year's $7.8 million profit.

The $6.995 million after tax loss includes $11.6 million of non-recurring items and depreciation of $2.11 million.

Non-recurring items included writing off $11.5 million of goodwill relating to purchase of assets by Village Force Hoyts, writing off $3.37 million of its Cinema Plus shareholding, and $1.16 million in amortisation of Planet Hollywood pre-opening expenses. These were balanced against a gain on sale of fixed assets to Village Force Hoyts joint venture of $13.77 million.

Operating earnings were down 21% to $6.65 million. The company says property earnings and other earnings fell, and Planet Hollywood had a $256,000 operating deficit.

Movie exhibition earnings were up by only $262,000 despite better revenue in the company's Rialto, Fiji and Argentina cinema operations, which increased by 7%, 16.% and 87% respectively. Revenue from Village Force Cinemas dropped by less than 1%.

Force says its Recoleta multiplex in Argentina is now the highest grossing multiplex in its Argentina Village Cinemas division, and contributed earnings of $993,000, up from $650,000 last year. But the company says while the improvement is encouraging it is still well short of providing an acceptable return on the $40.1 million equity and advances it has made to that operation.

Force is not paying a final dividend. Last year the final dividend was 3 cents per share.

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