Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Palace says no dividend payment after heavy investment in Portmore

“It is the decision of the directors to not recommend a dividend payment after investing heavily - for the benefit of the shareholders in the newest cinema, Sunshine Palace in Portmore, St Catherine,” Palace Amusement said in its annual report.

“It is the decision of the directors to not recommend a dividend payment after investing heavily - for the benefit of the shareholders in the newest cinema, Sunshine Palace in Portmore, St Catherine,” Palace Amusement said in its annual report.

The Palace Amusement says it continues to “hold its own” even in the face of declining audiences at its cinemas.
 
However, despite eking out a profit, the directors have recommended that no dividend be paid to shareholders this year after a substantial capital investment in their newest cinema, Sunshine Palace in Portmore, St Catherine.
 
According to the directors’ report for the audited financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2019, there was an 11 per cent decrease in attendance across the circuit. 
 
The directors’ report said that the 2019 financial year saw the group rallying well and “holding its own” in the value of a spectacular previous year.
 
The report also downplayed the fall in attendance and suggested that “though significant was not surprising”.
 
“There were some outstanding sequels like "Mission Impossible: Fallout", "John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum", "The Equalizer 2", and some newcomers that piqued the interest of the Jamaican patrons - "What Men Want and Nobody’s Fool" to name a few,” the report said. 
 
There was a 48 per cent decline in net profit, plummeting to $70.3 million when compared to $137.3 million in 2018. 
 
The profit attributable to stockholders of the company was $82.431 million compared to $123.839 million for the corresponding period last year. Earnings per stock unit was $57.36 compared to $86.18 in 2018. 
 
The revenue figures were $1.113 billion, a marginal decline of five per cent when compared to 2018. 
 
“It is the decision of the directors to not recommend a dividend payment after investing heavily - for the benefit of the shareholders in the newest cinema, Sunshine Palace in Portmore, St Catherine,” the report said.

Cinema couple, Marketing Manager Melanie Graham (centre) and Chairman Douglas Graham of Palace Amusement Company (right) share a word with a guest during a soft launch of Sunshine Palace in Portmore earlier this year. 

Palace Amusement has already pumped “hundreds of millions” into the Portmore development, which has a seating capacity of 674 across five spaces the Palace Amusement has leased from the Loshusan–owned Sunshine Outlet Mall.
 
Aside from leasing expenses, a portion of the investment was also used to equip one of the auditoriums with digital laser projection, a service that has already taken off at Palace Amusement's flagship cinema, Carib 5 in Cross Roads.
 
The company has also begun offering, along with the use of online ticketing via the website, a ticket retrieval option from a kiosk. Patrons in Portmore have 24-hour access to purchase tickets directly from a kiosk at the box office using visa credit and debit cards. 
 
The company also intends to introduce a mobile app to compliment the website access in the new financial year.

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