Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd shares rise after strong result

Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd (ASX: EVT) has seen its share price rise 2.2% to %15.48, despite posting a 47% increase in net profit.

Expectations of a bumper result may have been priced into the shares leading up to the results announcement for the six months to December 2015.

Event owns a number of entertainment operations, including cinemas (Event), hotels and resorts (QT, Rydges, Atura) and the Thredbo Alpine Resort, with operations in Australia, New Zealand and Germany. The company also has a small but profitable property development arm.

Here’s a summary of the main points…

  • Revenues up 15.9% to $661 million, compared to the first half of the 2015 financial year (1H FY15)
  • Reported net profit up 49.9% to $76.8 million compared to 1H FY15
  • Fully franked interim dividend up 25% to 20 cents over 1H FY15
  • All operations (except for property development) delivered strong growth in pre-tax profits, with Entertainment in Germany a standout, with a 150% increase in pre-tax profit.

A number of blockbuster movies released during the period such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spectre, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and The Martian all delivered strong gross returns.

Four new cinema complexes with 34 screens helped earnings growth in Australia and an additional 2 complexes were acquired in New Zealand. An 8% increase in admissions in Germany was the main contributor to its standout performance.

Event was even able to lift admission prices for its premium offerings in Australia (Vmax and Gold Class) – showing that it has some competitive advantages despite the rise of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix.

Foolish takeaway

Event has not given any future guidance or outlook for the company but has a number of new cinemas in the pipeline in both Australia and New Zealand, as well as new hotels. However, much will depend on the success or otherwise of upcoming movie releases – which can vary from year to year.

At the current share price, Event is trading on a P/E just north of 20x, but if the company can keep delivering results like this, investors may want to add the company to their watchlist.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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