Regal Entertainment Group (RGC)

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Regal Entertainment Group (RGC)

Q1 2009 Earnings Call

April 30, 2009 9:30 am ET


Michael Campbell - Chairman and CEO

Amy Miles - EVP, CFO and Treasurer

Don De Laria - VP of IR


Ben Mogil - Thomas Weisel Partners

James Marsh - Piper Jaffray

Tony Wible - Janney Montgomery Scott

George Hawkey - Barclays Capital

Mathew Harrigan - Wunderlich Securities

Jake Hindelong - Monness, Crespi, Hardt

Barton Crockett - Lazard Capital Markets

David Miller - Caris and Company

David Goldberg - Morgan Stanley

Eric Wold - Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.



Welcome to the Regal Entertainment Group First Quarter 2009 Earnings And Release Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Don DeLaria, Vice President of Investor Relations for Regal Entertainment. Thank you Mr. DeLaria, you may now begin.

Don De Laria

Good morning. Before I begin today I would like to remind our listeners this conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact communicated during this conference call may constitute forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the company’s expectations are disclosed in the risk factors contained in the company’s annual report on Form 10K dated February 26, 2008. All forward-looking statements are expressively qualified in their entirety by such factors.

Now I will turn the call over to Michael Campbell.

Michael Campbell

Thanks Don. Welcome and thank you for dialing in to our first quarter conference call. Today, I will provide an overview of the industry and Regal’s first quarter results, and a review of current trends in the exhibition industry, including some of our expectations regarding Box Office trends for the summer 2009 film slate.

Following my remarks, Amy Miles will provide a summary review of our financial results and as always we will conclude the call with a question-and-answer session.

Now turning to first quarter industry results, first and foremost we are happy to report that despite the difficult economic climate, industry Box Office result had not only remained resilient, but actually thrived during the first part of 2009.

On a calendar basis, industry Box Office showed growth in 10 of the first 13 weeks of 2009, and benefited from both high grossing films with five films grossing more than $100 million, compared to just two films last year and from depth in the films slate with 17 films grossing more than $50 million, compared to only 15 films in the first quarter of 2008.

Now, some industry highlights from the first quarter included, the industry's first ever billion dollar January, which was up 20.6% over the same calendar period last year led by the success of the Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which ultimately grossed $144 million.

February also generated record Box Office, finishing up 10.7% over the same calendar period in a prior year based on the success of the Taken, He's Just Not That Into You! and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail.

March proved again to be a good time to release movies with, Monsters vs. Aliens and Watchmen tallying the third and fourth highest grossing March opening weekend ever.

And also during the first quarter 3D and IMAX titles continue to resonate with consumers, with 70% of the opening weekend industry gross on, My Bloody Valentine, Coraline and Jonas Brothers coming from 3D screens.

Monsters vs. Aliens achieved an opening weekend gross of almost $60 million with over $30 million coming from 3D screens. Consumers also continued to select the IMAX experience, as over 10% of the opening weekend grosses for Watchman and Monsters vs. Aliens was generated on just 2% of the screens.

As a result of these factors, on a calendar basis, first quarter industry Box Office finished up 9.5% over the same calendar period in the prior year.

Now due to the shift in Regal's fiscal calendar in 2009, it is critically important to compare Regal’s fiscal quarterly periods with industry data that correspond to the same fiscal periods in the prior year.

For the period that corresponds to Regal's fiscal first quarter, industry sources reported an increase in aggregate Box Office revenues of approximately 2.5%. When taken together with reported 1.5% to maybe 1% increase in total industry screen count, industry Box Office per screen increased to approximately 1.5%. Amy will provide more detail with respect our results versus industry metrics in just a few minutes.

Now, turning briefly to Regal's first quarter results. We are pleased to report the following quarterly highlights; Record first quarter total revenues of $665.6 million beat the record Q1 revenue of $626.8 million a year ago.

During the quarter our average ticket price grew by 4.1% and our concession per cap grew by 5.5%. Our average ticket price benefited from both IMAX and 3D product during the quarter and we were obviously pleased with the strong growth in our concession per cap.

We are also pleased to report adjusted EBITDA of $130 million, which fell just short of a record achieved during the first quarter of 2008 that included several days during a high volume Christmas to New Year's week that were absent in the current period results.

And lastly, including the dividend announced today, we have return value to our shareholders with dividend payments totaling approximately $18.82 per share since our IPO in 2002.

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