EVERYMAN Media Group has outlined its hopes for a strong second half amid a raft of upcoming major film releases and signalled plans to expand, after booking record admissions in July following the launch of blockbusters Barbie and Oppenheimer.

The cinema group, which has picture houses in Glasgow and Edinburgh, said the hotly anticipated movies had helped it double underlying profits to £2.6 million in an “exceptional” July, compared with £1.3m for the same month in 2022. Group revenue came in at £10.6m in July, against £7.1m in the corresponding month last year.

Everyman said the “positive impact” of Barbie and Oppenheimer had continued into August and highlighted the “strong pipeline” of further major releases in the second half, which include Dune: Part Two, Wonka, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Napoleon, and Killers of the Flower Moon.

The update may inspire confidence that brighter times lie ahead for the cinema industry after venues were forced to close their doors for long spells during the pandemic.

READ MORE: New tourism survey 'masks' reality facing Scottish industry

Difficulties arising from Covid and the impact of the cost of living crisis were cited when Empire Cinemas fell into administration in early July, which led to the immediate loss of 150 jobs as six cinemas were closed.

Property firm CBRE was this week appointed by administrators at BDO to sell the remaining eight Empire outlets, including the outlet in Clydebank. The agent reported that it had “received significant interest from a wide pool of prospective buyers as they look to capitalise on a recovering industry”.

Cineworld meanwhile has recently emerged from a long-running financial restructuring process that resulted in heavy losses for investors.

Everyman signalled yesterday that trading for the full year ending December 28 would be in line with expectations as it reported group revenue of £38.3 million for the 26 weeks ending June 29. This compared with revenue of £40.7m for the first half of 2022, when it benefited from a reduced rate of value-added tax in the first quarter worth £0.9m in underlying profits and popular film releases.

READ MORE: Have Barbie and Oppenheimer sparked cinema revival?

The market is currently forecasting that Everyman will report adjusted earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of £17.2m on revenue of £94.4m for the year ended December 28.

The company now has 41 venues following the opening of a further three at the end of the first half, in Northallerton, Plymouth, and Salisbury. It expects to open a new two-screen venue in Marlow in October and is targeting further expansion, noting that the “pipeline for 2024 remains well-developed”.

Alex Scrimgeour, chief executive of Everyman Media Group, said: "Everyman remains an affordable and popular choice for consumers. The record week of admissions we saw in July demonstrates both the value of original content, and the fact that cinema remains as relevant as ever. Alongside this, we continue to see increasing demand for our high-quality food and beverage offering. The all-encompassing Everyman experience leaves us very well placed to satisfy consumer demand for premium entertainment.

"None of what we do would be possible without the incredible Everyman team both in our venues and head office. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their hard work and willingness to go that extra mile for our customers. We have added three carefully selected new venues to our estate and we look forward to building on the significant momentum we have seen in July and August."

Separately, Everyman announced that it had agreed a new three-year, £35m loan facility with Barclays and NatWest Group, extendable by a further two years subject to lender consent. It replaces the company's existing £25m revolving credit facility and £15m coronavirus business interruption loan held with Barclays and Santander.

Shares in Everyman closed the day down 1.73%, or 1.04p, at 58.96p.