Cineworld keeps cameras rolling on expansion

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The Independent Online

The listed cinema group Cineworld is planning a European expansion despite a deal to invest in Spain falling through in September.

Its chief executive, Steve Wiener, said the business is still committed to Europe and has been sounding out various options, but he warned that due to "present economic conditions around Europe we do not know when we will be able to implement our European expansion plans".

In Spain, its efforts to buy Cinesur were terminated but other European countries are being investigated for possible acquisition targets.

Meanwhile, Cineworld continues to expand in the UK, where it has 78 cinemas. Last Friday it opened in Leigh near Manchester and it is in discussions to open 30 new locations across the UK within the next five years; sites in Wembley, Aldershot and Trowbridge are already confirmed. It is also looking for more sites for its new concept cinema The Screening Rooms – a boutique version of the multiplex. Last week it announced that Philip Bowcock will join as chief financial officer from collapsed nightclub operator Luminar.