Cineworld CINE.L, the world’s second-biggest cinema operator, warned on Thursday it might need to raise more money if theatres shut again from fresh pandemic curbs after it swung to a $1.64 billion first-half loss, sending shares down 17 per cent.
The Regal cinema owner, which counts United States as its largest market, said it was in talks with lenders to avoid an impending loan default, and flagged survival risks as studios delay major releases and people stay away from theatres.
“If governments were to strengthen restrictions on social gathering…, it would have a negative impact on our financial performance,” the British company said.
New curbs could be a major setback after Cineworld reopened 561 out of 778 sites, highlighted the strong performance of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet”, and said it was looking forward to other big releases.
“Two more big name films, West Side Story and Black Widow, have been pushed back to 2021,” AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould said.
“There isn’t anything out now or coming very soon that will really make people want to take the risk of sitting in a room with a load of strangers.”