Cineworld higher as CEO highlights sold-out movie screenings following reopening

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Cineworld Group PLC (LON:CINE) shares rose on Friday following comments from its chief executive overnight that the cinema chain was seeing “sold out” film screenings after reopening its doors to the public following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in its markets.

Speaking to CNBC, CEO Mooky Greidinger said the FTSE 250 group had been “pleasantly surprised” by the numbers of customers returning to the big screen, adding that the strong interest had arisen without the pull of a major blockbuster.

READ: Cineworld slumps as AMC and Universal streaming threatens theatrical release model

He added that the company had also seen a mostly positive reaction to its coronavirus safety measures from customers, which include capacity restrictions and face mask requirements to reduce transmission risks.

Cineworld reopened its cinemas in England and Wales on July 31 and in Ireland and Scotland on August 26.

In a note, analysts at Peel Hunt reiterated their ‘buy’ rating and 180p price target on the stock, saying while Greidinger’s comments did not carry the same weight as a formal announcement, they were “encouraged by the confirmation that demand for cinema has not been extinguished by [coronavirus] security measures”.

The broker also highlighted the potential for cinemas from bookings for the new Christopher Nolan film Tenet, which was released in the UK on August 26.

Shares in Cineworld were up 3% at 62p in late-morning trading, although they are still down around 72% from their level at the start of the year.

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