COLUMBUS, Ga--Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC), a leading digital cinema and 3-D motion picture exhibitor, today reported results for the three months ended March 31, 2010.
"The 2010 first quarter was hampered by severe weather conditions as well as higher film rental costs on blockbuster and 3-D films as compared to our 2009 first quarter which had mild weather and high performing movies with lower film costs. As a result, our first quarter went from what otherwise was a strong quarter to a respectable quarter. Notwithstanding these challenges we improved our financial liquidity by refinancing our bank debt set to expire as early as 2011 with debt maturing in 2016. The refinancing gives us the flexibility to fund our long-term strategies and it was completed at rates below our initial expectations," stated Carmike Cinemas President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman.
Carmike's Chief Financial Officer Richard B. Hare stated, "Carmike's patrons spent $10.34 on average per visit during the first quarter of 2010, up 8.0 percent versus the comparable 2009 period. Average admissions advanced 7.4 percent to $6.85 as 3-D premiums of $2.50 and higher increased the average ticket price per attendee. Concessions and other revenue per patron increased 9.4 percent to $3.49, versus $3.19 in the prior year period.
"On the expense side, general and administrative expenses were up primarily due to an increase in stock incentive compensation. Other theatre operating costs were up 6.2% for the quarter to $53.9 million from $50.7 million primarily due to an increase in rent associated with new theatres, additional 3-D costs, an increase in repairs and maintenance and the impact of minimum wage increases. Quarterly interest expense declined slightly to $8.9 million, compared to $9.0 million the prior year. Importantly, we pre-paid $15 million in bank debt during Q1, leaving us with a March 31 bank debt balance of $249.3 million. Our results for the period were impacted by a $2.6 million charge related to the issuance of our new senior secured credit facility. We will continue our focus on deploying free cash toward improving our balance sheet in the near term," concluded Mr. Hare.
Mr. Passman concluded, "Despite the challenging first quarter comparisons to the prior year and the issues that negatively affected our current period results, Carmike has made significant progress on a number of critical fronts. We have enhanced our patrons' theatre experience as a result of our corporate 'refresh' program, we have a steadily improving capital structure and we have a highly motivated team of associates focused on delivering Carmike's patrons a great experience each and every time they visit one of our entertainment complexes. As well, we have a leading digital theatre circuit with cutting-edge technology - to which we recently added approximately 50 new 3-D screens."