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 December 31, 2009 and for the year ended December 31, 2009.
"Carmike reported strong 2009 fourth quarter results, driven by a 12 percent increase in attendance and a 20 percent increase in box office receipts," stated Carmike Cinemas President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman. "Q4 was a record-setting quarter for the industry domestically, with nine films grossing in excess of $100 million, capping off a very good year for U.S. cinema as movies generated receipts in excess of $10 billion for the first time in history. We are especially pleased that Avatar brought many patrons to the theatre to experience the excitement of 3-D for the first time.
"In addition to achieving solid box office results, we were able to keep costs in check, which helped us achieve adjusted EBITDA of nearly $27 million with a margin in excess of 19 percent. We also experienced a 25 percent year-over-year increase in theatre level cash flow for the fourth quarter," added Mr. Passman.
Carmike's Chief Financial Officer Richard B. Hare stated, "In the aggregate, our patrons spent an average of $10.15 per visit to a Carmike theatre during the 2009 fourth quarter, up 4.4 percent versus the prior-year period. Average admissions revenues rose 7.1 percent to $6.91, as we benefited from the 3-D up-charge and price increases throughout the year. Our average concessions and other revenue per patron held relatively steady at $3.24, versus $3.27 for the prior year period. Carmike's concessions per patron continues to be affected by the Company's ‘Stimulus Tuesday' program but this popular promotion has driven solid attendance gains on what was historically the slowest night of the week.
"On the expense side, we continued to reduce general and administrative expenses, and significantly lowered interest expense by 20.7 percent, thus improving cash flow and allowing us to make another voluntary $5 million bank debt pre-payment during Q4. We have made $40 million in bank debt pre-payments over the past 18 months, and in total have reduced the Company's outstanding bank debt balance by approximately $45 million during that time frame.
"During the fourth quarter, we recognized income tax expense due to limitations on both our net operating loss carryforwards and other deductions as a result of the application of Internal Revenue Code Section 382 due to the ownership change that occurred in October 2008.
"Subsequent to quarter-end, we finalized a new $265 million senior secured loan facility and a $30 million senior secured revolving credit facility. We are pleased with the interest rate on the term loan at LIBOR plus 350 basis points, with a 2% floor. We believe the new term loan and revolver will improve Carmike's financial flexibility going forward. At December 31, 2009, we were comfortably in compliance with our debt covenant financial ratios," said Mr. Hare.
Mr. Passman concluded, "We recognize that 2010 will be challenging as we face record comparisons, but we believe our ability to offer 3-D movies on more than 500 screens remains an advantage, and we are optimistic about our 2010 prospects given an upcoming slate that includes many promising 3-D titles, as well as highly anticipated traditional movies."