Event's H1 profit up despite 'weak' movies

Event Hospitality and Entertainment's first-half profit rose 13 per cent to $66.9 million as its hotels and resorts offset a fall in earnings from local cinemas.

Big budget movies such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok performed in line with their counterparts in the prior corresponding period, but Event said lower-profile films played less well in Australia and New Zealand.

"Mid-tier film product for the period has been softer, with 18 films that grossed between $5 million and $15 million, compared with 22 titles in the prior comparable half year," Event said in a statement.

"This comparatively weak mid-tier Hollywood product was the driver of the overall market decline in box office."

Event said normalised profit before interest and tax fell 27 per cent on the prior corresponding period at its Australian cinemas to $24.1 million, and dropped 23 per cent to $3.4 million in New Zealand.

Stronger underlying earnings from its Rydges and QT hotels and resorts, as well as Thredbo Alpine Resort, lifted the bottom line and allowed Event to raise its interim dividend.

Event shares gained 32 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $12.96.

RESORTS BOOST EVENT'S HALF YEAR PROFIT

* Net profit up 12.7pct to $66.9m

* Revenue up 0.7pct to $660.9m

* Interim dividend up 1 cent to 21 cents, fully franked

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