Belfast Telegraph

Everyman plans to double cinema numbers over next five years

Upmarket cinema chain Everyman plans to double in size and create more than 500 new jobs as it continues to ramp up expansion plans.

The group's chief executive Crispin Lilly told the Press Association that Everyman is aiming to increase its cinema numbers from 20 to 40 over the next five years, which would see job numbers rise from 520 to over a thousand.

"We are seeing an uptick in growth after our most recent expansion. We'd like to get to 40 in the next five years at a rate of about three to five a year, not just in London but around the country," Mr Lilly said.

To this end, the chain has secured an £8 million loan from Barclays.

Mr Lilly added that the firm has seen "no impact" from Britain's decision to quit the European Union.

He said: "We've been resilient like the rest of the sector, which has gone through recessions before.

"Cinema is affordable and offers customers a chance to escape their woes, so we don't foresee any impact in future either."

However, Everyman recorded a pre-tax loss of £295,000 for the first six months of the year due to "heavy investment" in its estate and planned openings.

Revenue rose 49% to £12.1 million in the period as the firm cashed in on blockbuster releases including The Revenant, The Jungle Book and The Big Short.

The opportunity to enjoy a "gin and tonic and the perfect burger" helped the firm usher 700,000 customers through its doors, Everyman added.