Wanda Film Holdings delivered some good news to the embattled Dalian Wanda group. The cinema business enjoyed profits in the six months to June that grew by 10% to $132 million (RMB887 million), up from $120 million (RMB805 million) in the same period last year.
The company said that the Chinese theatrical market had expanded by 3.5% in cash terms, and reported growing competition between cinema operators. But Wanda Film (previously Wanda Cinema Line) enjoyed a 16% increase in gross revenues. These hit close to $1 billion, reported as RMB 6.61 billion, up from RMB5.72 billion. The growth came from new cinema openings and a quickly expanding portion of non-box office revenues including merchandize sales. Its loyalty program now counts 90 million members. During the six months Wanda opened 54 new cinemas with a total of 436 additional screens.
Parent company, Dalian Wanda has been embroiled in controversy since July when government moved to crimp its overseas expansion and halted Chinese bank lending to its acquired overseas operations.