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AMC Ent. CEO Citations Churchill; Q1 “End of start” of Covid Hit – Deadline

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron was nearly giddy on Thursday, citing Winston Churchill as trying to outdo him, citing a box office recovery, increasing the channel’s market share, cash position and plans to recruit and millions of new retail investors who have replaced the Chinese group Wanda. its basic shareholder base.

As an Oscar acceptance speech, he thanked former President Donald Trump for Operation Warp Speed, current President Biden for the rapid deployment of vaccines and the CEO of Pfizer and Hollywood studios. “Thank you Universal for F9. Thank you disney for Black Widow. “

Channeling Churchill – the second time he has done so publicly in a year – he recalled November 1942, years before the end of World War II, when Churchill said, “This is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. But maybe this is the end of the beginning. “…” Sir Winston has won his titanic fight. I believe that AMC will also win our war. “

AMC Entertainment predicts a drop in first quarter sales to $ 148 million from $ 941 million a year ago; Cancels the shareholder vote on the sale of shares

Later, in his own words, he said that the show’s resumption “has not started the year. It’s about to begin. You can smell it, you can taste it, you can see it on the horizon.

Aron was speaking on a conference call after the channel reported first quarter financial results. He had already published an overview of the figures at the end of April. Revenue plunged to $ 148 million from $ 941 million. Net losses narrowed to $ 576 million from $ 2.2 billion, but that’s because the prior year’s quarter included a one-time depreciation of $ 1.85 billion.

AMC has come close to running out of cash five times since the pandemic struck over a year ago and Aron has recounted piecemeal how he and his team have struggled to raise debt and equity financing to keep it at bay. flow. He clearly sees it sailing through 2022 with two assumptions – that the box office recovers in the second half of the year and ends 2021 with domestic revenue of $ 5 billion, and that it jumps to $ 8 billion by 2022. It thinks of a historic throwback and a 2019 box office of well over $ 11 billion means those estimates could be “reasonable.”

Meanwhile, he noted that the country’s largest chain had increased its market share from around 26% -27% before the pandemic to 33% currently – taking over theaters that remained closed, bankrupt or just plain underperforming. He will likely lose some of that lead, but not all once everyone is back.

As big releases accelerate and summer approaches, he said the chain will hire between 5,000 and 10,000 employees in the next few weeks alone.

Part of AMC’s fundraising was aided earlier this year by a swarm of retail investors in the stock, notably but not only on the Reddit chat WallStreetBets, driving up the share price. Wanda’s position has eroded and she is no longer the majority shareholder; instead, 3.2 million new individual investors are. It’s very different, said Aron.

“Before, when I wanted to talk about AMC ownership, I could fly to Beijing and talk to four out of five people who owned 75% of the company. Or talk to 15 securities analysts who talk to all institutional investors. Now that we have 3.2 million people, we’ll have to explain what we want to do, how it affects them and are they okay with it.

“I started tweeting again… We communicate with our shareholder base. Try to spend four minutes on CNBC, it’s difficult. We had 90 minutes on YouTube and it was viewed 250,000 times. Over 20,000 people took the time to review it and 99% thanked it. “

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