2018 Revenue of $5.5 billion, up 7.5% from last year 2018 Net earnings of $110.1 million, up $597.3 million from last year 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of $929.2 million, up 13.0% from last year
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018.
“AMC continued to deliver strong results in the fourth quarter of 2018, capping a record-setting full year performance, the best-ever in our 98-year history,” said Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC. “The tremendous momentum of the industry box office, which was the fifth record-setting year in the last seven years, combined with AMC’s transformative growth initiatives and the popularity of the new AMC Stubs A-List subscription program, drove full year global attendance to an all-time high of 359 million guests, up 6.1% in the U.S. markets, resulting in strong financial performance across the board.”
Selected Fourth-Quarter Financial Results
- Revenue: Fourth-quarter total revenues were $1.4 billion, down 0.2% on a GAAP basis (up 0.9% on a constant currency basis) from the year-ago quarter. Results were driven by strong food and beverage revenues, up 4.8% primarily due to an increase in U.S. attendance that marked a fourth quarter U.S. attendance record, and other revenues, which grew 11.0% largely from the increases in online ticket fee revenues and the adoption of ASC 606. Total revenues were affected by lower admissions revenues, down 3.9% primarily driven by industry-wide softness in Europe and a 6.7% decline in U.S. average ticket prices, offset by a 5.3% increase in U.S. attendance. The U.S. average ticket price was primarily affected by declines in IMAX and 3D volumes, as well as A-List and promotional pricing. Excluding the impact of A-List, the U.S. average ticket price would have declined 3.3%.
- Net Earnings: Net earnings was $170.6 million, compared with a net loss of $276.4 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase in net income included, among other items, $165.5 million of income related to the quarterly fair-value remeasurement of a derivative liability and derivative asset, and $310.0 million of prior year tax expense related to the impact of both the change in the U.S. enacted federal income tax rate and a full valuation allowance on AMC’s deferred income tax assets.
- Adjusted EBITDA: Total Adjusted EBITDA was $264.1 million, down 8.4% (down 6.8% on a constant currency basis) from the year-ago quarter. International Adjusted EBITDA grew 0.4% (up 5.1% on a constant currency basis), while U.S. markets Adjusted EBITDA declined 12.9%. The decline in total Adjusted EBITDA was primarily driven by a shift in film slate mix that resulted in fewer 3D and IMAX viewings, a decline in cash distributions from non-consolidated entities related to the sale of AMC’s remaining stake in National CineMedia, LLC (“NCM”), and the anticipated impact from the initial ramp up of A-List.
- Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities was $224.4 million, compared with $307.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted free cash flow was $131.7 million, compared with $211.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease in adjusted free cash flow was primarily driven by the timing of maintenance capital expenditures, higher cash taxes related to asset sales, higher cash interest, and the decline in Adjusted EBITDA.
Selected Full-Year Financial Results
- Revenue: Full-year total revenues were a record $5.5 billion, up 7.5% on a GAAP basis (up 6.6% on a constant currency basis) from last year. Results were driven by strength in admissions revenues, up 4.8% primarily from a 6.1% increase in U.S. attendance, and food and beverage revenues, up 8.0% from a combination of attendance increase and higher food and beverage revenues per patron. In addition, other revenues were up 34.2%, the result of higher online ticket fee revenues and the benefit from the adoption of ASC 606. All revenue categories benefited from the full year contribution from Nordic Cinema Group Holdings AB (“Nordic”) versus nine months in 2017, which contributed approximately 2.1% of total revenue growth.
- Net Earnings: Net earnings were $110.1 million, compared with a net loss of $487.2 million last year. The increase in net income included, among other items, $111.4 million of income related to the fair-value remeasurement of a derivative liability and derivative asset, $208.0 million of prior year impairment charge on AMC’s investment in NCM, and $310.0 million of prior year tax expense related to the impact of both the change in the U.S. enacted federal income tax rate and a full valuation allowance on AMC’s deferred income tax assets.
- Adjusted EBITDA: Total Adjusted EBITDA was $929.2 million, up 13.0% (up 12.5% on a constant currency basis) from last year as the Company benefited from operating leverage. U.S. markets Adjusted EBITDA grew 14.8%, primarily due to strong attendance, an increase in demand for food and beverage, and the adoption of ASC 606. International Adjusted EBITDA grew 7.6%, primarily driven by the full year contribution from Nordic versus nine months in 2017. Full year 2018 also included additional domestic related items which affected comparability to 2017, including a one-time reduction in rent related to a lease modification, the anticipated impact from the initial ramp of A-List, a decrease in cash distributions from non-consolidated entities related to the sale of AMC’s remaining stake in NCM, and an increase in other general and administrative costs due to legal settlement payments and incentive compensation payments related to strong 2018 full year performance. The anticipated A-List impact to Adjusted EBITDA in the final six months of 2018 falls within the previously disclosed $10 million to $15 million range for a reduction to total Adjusted EBITDA in the second half of 2018; this was achieved despite signing up nearly double the number of subscribers originally anticipated by year-end 2018.
- Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities was $523.2 million, compared with $537.4 million last year. Adjusted free cash flow was $298.2 million, compared with $329.1 million last year. The decline in adjusted free cash flow was affected by an increase in deferred rent, primarily related to a one-time lease modification, higher cash interest payments, and higher cash taxes related to the sale of assets. Additionally, the 24.1 million shares repurchased from Wanda in September resulted in a $4.8 million reduction to dividends paid in 2018 and is expected to result in a $19.3 million reduction to annual dividends paid based on the current quarterly dividend of $0.20.
Other Key Highlights
- Industry Performance: In full year 2018, the U.S. industry box office was up 6.9% to $11.9 billion, marking the highest grossing year ever recorded with February, April, June, and October setting all-time box office monthly records. Internationally, the industry box office in countries served by Odeon and Nordic’s theatres witnessed a 5.2% decline and a 1.6% increase, respectively, on a constant currency basis. The industry box office across Europe was affected by underperforming Hollywood titles, weak local product, and competing viewership from the FIFA World Cup.
- Circuit Update: As of December 31, 2018, AMC owned, operated, or had interests in 637 theatres in the U.S. and 369 theatres internationally. In 2018, the Company added premium recliner seating to 58 theatres in the U.S. and 19 theatres internationally. Included in those theatre counts, AMC opened 8 new build theatres and made 3 spot acquisitions of single theatre locations throughout the year. Furthermore, in the fourth quarter of 2018, AMC re-opened the iconic Odeon Leicester Square Theatre in London after an extensive, multi-million-GBP luxury refurbishment. As part of the renovations, AMC introduced the first ever Dolby Cinema auditorium in the UK. 2018 also marked the opening of a new world-class luxury theatre in Oslo, Norway, which has become the highest attendance theatre in Norway.
- Stubs A-List Program: Since its launch in June 2018, the A-List VIP tier of the successful AMC Stubs loyalty program has already attracted more than 700,000 subscribers, far in excess of initial internal expectations. At this membership level, the subscriber base is expected to generate more than $150 million of annual recurring revenue and, based on historical performance, in excess of $300 million when factoring in food and beverage purchases and full fare tickets purchased by bring-along guests such as family and friends. The A-List subscription program represents a meaningful opportunity to shift a portion of AMC’s business to a recurring subscription model, thereby increasing revenue visibility, reducing box office volatility, and driving long-term customer loyalty. We expect the program to become accretive to Adjusted EBITDA in 2019, a year earlier than originally anticipated.
- Adjusted Free Cash Flow: Starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, AMC is disclosing a new “Adjusted Free Cash Flow” metric as a measure of our liquidity. We believe this measure is indicative of our ability to generate cash from operations in excess of maintenance capital expenditures and certain other non-operating costs, and for other uses including repayment of our corporate borrowings and generating cash for growth opportunities. Adjusted Free Cash Flow is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined as (i) cash flow from operations, plus (ii) merger and acquisition expenses, less (iii) maintenance capital expenditures, less (iv) landlord contributions. In 2018, the Company generated adjusted free cash flow of $298.2 million and invested an additional $459.8 million into growth capital expenditures ($320.0 million, net of $127.6 million of landlord contributions and $12.2 million of changes in construction payables). These investments relate to the Company’s strategic growth initiatives (e.g., recliner renovations, premium large formats, premium food and beverage) and may be adjusted in the future depending on the Company’s strategic priorities and general economic conditions. See the tables included later in this press release for further information on adjusted free cash flow.
- Cash Dividend: The Company paid approximately $20.7 million of dividends in the fourth quarter of 2018 and approximately $258.1 million in the full year, inclusive of a special dividend of approximately $160.5 million in September.
Conference Call / Webcast Information
The Company will host a conference call via webcast for investors and other interested parties beginning at 4:00 p.m. CST/5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 28, 2019. To listen to the conference call via the internet, please visit the investor relations section of the AMC website at www.investor.amctheatres.com for a link to the webcast. Investors and interested parties should go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, and/or download and install any necessary audio software.
Participants may also listen to the call by dialing (877) 407-3982, or (201) 493-6780 for international participants. An archive of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website after the call for a limited time.
About AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
AMC is the largest movie exhibition company in the U.S., in Europe and throughout the world with more than 1,000 theatres and nearly 11,100 screens across the globe. AMC has propelled innovation in the exhibition industry by: deploying its Signature power-recliner seats; delivering enhanced food and beverage choices; generating greater guest engagement through its loyalty program, web site and mobile apps; offering premium large format experiences and playing a wide variety of content including the latest Hollywood releases and independent programming. AMC operates among the most productive theatres in the United States’ top markets, having the #1 or #2 market share positions in 21 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas of the United States, including the top three markets (NY, LA, Chicago). AMC operates in the U.S. and through its Odeon subsidiary in 13 European countries and the Middle East and is the #1 theatre chain in Estonia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Spain, Sweden and UK & Ireland. For more information, visit www.amctheatres.com.
This press release, along with other news about AMC, is available at www.amctheatres.com. We routinely post information that may be important to investors in the Investor Relations section of our website, www.investor.amctheatres.com. We use this website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD, and we encourage investors to consult that section of our website regularly for important information about AMC. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this document. Investors interested in automatically receiving news and information when posted to our website can also visit www.investor.amctheatres.com to sign up for email alerts.
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “forecast,” “plan,” “estimate,” “will,” “would,” “project,” “maintain,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “prospect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “believe,” “continue,” “opportunity,” “potential,” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks, trends, uncertainties and other facts that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks, trends, uncertainties and facts include, but are not limited to, risks related to: motion picture production and performance; AMC’s lack of control over distributors of films; intense competition in the geographic areas in which AMC operates; increased use of alternative film delivery methods or other forms of entertainment; shrinking exclusive theatrical release windows; international economic, political, regulatory and other risks, including risks related to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union; risks and uncertainties relating to AMC’s significant indebtedness; AMC’s ability to execute cost cutting and revenue enhancement initiatives; box office performance; limitations on the availability of capital; risks relating to AMC’s inability to achieve the expected benefits and performance from its recent acquisitions; AMC’s ability to refinance its indebtedness on favorable terms; optimizing AMC’s theatre circuit through construction and the transformation of its existing theatres may be subject to delay and unanticipated costs; failures, unavailability or security breaches of AMC’s information systems; risks relating to impairment losses, including with respect to goodwill and other intangibles, and theatre and other closure charges; AMC’s ability to utilize net operating loss carryforwards to reduce its future tax liability or valuation allowances taken with respect to deferred tax assets; review by antitrust authorities in connection with acquisition opportunities; risks relating to unexpected costs or unknown liabilities relating to recently completed acquisitions; risks relating to the incurrence of legal liability including costs associated with recently filed class action lawsuits; general political, social and economic conditions and risks, trends, uncertainties and other factors discussed in the reports AMC has filed with the SEC. Should one or more of these risks, trends, uncertainties or facts materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. For a detailed discussion of risks, trends and uncertainties facing AMC, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in AMC’s reports on Forms 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the SEC, and the risks, trends and uncertainties identified in its other public filings. AMC does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update any information contained herein to reflect future events or circumstances, except as required by applicable law.