Potter works his magic on indy cinema chain

The leading independent cinema chain, Apollo, saw turnover soar 19.5 per cent in the year to 31 March, after box office hits such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

According to results just filed with Companies House, revenue reached £20.2m, and although there was a pre-tax loss of more than £800,000, this was down on 2010's £1.1m. Much of the loss was due to costs associated with converting screens to digital and refurbishing a cinema.

The report also showed that all 83 screens – the size of the estate at year end – had digital projections, with about three-quarters 3D enabled.

The directors' report stated: "The company has taken advantage of the investment in digital projection equipment and 3D to drive admissions, box office revenue, and average ticket prices."

The next results should see further improvements, because admissions across the industry rose in 2011. Apollo's managing director, Rob Arthur, has said ticket sales are expected to top £1bn.

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