Imax posts higher first quarter earnings

Despite fewer theatre signings and installations, the giant screen exhibitor continues on a profitable course.

Imax signed up and installed fewer new theatres during the first quarter.

But that didn’t stop the Canadian-based exhibitor from posting higher earnings as it continues to grow its theatre network internationally and build up its Hollywood movie pipeline.

Imax posted earnings of $2.9 million on overall revenues of $49.9 million, against a profit of $2.5 million in the same three month period of 2012 to March 31, on year-earlier revenue of $55.5 million.

“In the first quarter, we continued to execute against our three main Company priorities for the year – penetration, differentiation, and scale,” said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond on Thursday in a statement.

“We expect these to be key drivers of our long-term growth, while supporting our results in the near-term, and we are excited about the promising upcoming lineup of films in Imax, particularly in the second quarter,” he added, with an eye to the international release of Iron Man 3 on his screens.

On the network growth front, Imax signed up 14 sales and lease type theatres during the first quarter, against 18 in 2012, while also signing up 3 joint venture theatres, against a year-earlier five screens.

Imax also installed 17 new theatres during the first quarter, against 26 in the same period of 2012.