Cineworld Sheffield: Concerns over group behind Sheffield Cineworld cinema as 'audiences remain low'

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Concerns have been raised over the future of Cineworld Group, who run Sheffield’s Cineworld cinema, at Valley Centertainment.

The chain has 128 cinemas in the UK and Ireland, one of which is located in Sheffield’s Valley Centertainment, and The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Cineworld Group is preparing to file for bankruptcy after they sturggled to rebuild attendance after pandemic lows.

Cineworld warned audiences earlier in the week that lower than expected audience numbers were expected to stay low until November. But the firm says it continues to welcome guests to its cinemas as normal, without disruption.

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In a statement the firm said: “Despite a gradual recovery of demand since reopening in April 2021, recent admission levels have been below expectations.

Cineworld branch in SheffieldCineworld branch in Sheffield
Cineworld branch in Sheffield

“These lower levels of admissions are due to a limited film slate that is anticipated to continue until November 2022 and are expected to negatively impact trading and the group’s liquidity position in the near term.”

The business was saddled with 4.8 billion dollars (£4 billion) of debt at the end of the last financial year.

Liberum analyst James Wheatcroft said its heavy debt burden means a balance sheet restructuring will “likely leave little for existing Cineworld shareholders”.

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It comes after the business posted a loss of 565.8 million US dollars (£429 million) in 2021 as revenues were boosted by higher admissions.

Cineworld said: “The group’s business operations are expected to remain unaffected by these efforts and Cineworld expects to continue to meet its ongoing business counterparty obligations.

“Cineworld continues to welcome guests to its cinemas across its global markets as normal, without disruption.”