Two rival cinema operators sustained sharp drops in revenue last year due to the impact of Covid-19 shutdowns on cinemas here.

As cinema operators eagerly anticipate the opening of the new James Bond movie release 'No Time to Die' this Thursday to kick start a busy period, new accounts for two rival cinema firms underline the severe Covid-19 impact on the business over the past 18 months.

Accounts for the Paul and Mark Anderson-controlled Omniplex (Cork) Ltd show that revenues more than halved from €16.79m to €7.65m in the 12 months to the end of October last.

The company - which operates cinemas in Cork, Tralee, Longford, Waterford, Carlow, Sligo, Monaghan and Drogheda - recorded an 82.5% drop in pre-tax profit, from €4.38m to €767,478 last year.

The accounts also show the importance of cinema shop income to the business model.

Last year, shop receipts at Omniplex (Cork) Ltd of €2.23m accounted for 29% of revenues.

Box office receipts of €5.1m generated 67% of income while 'screen advertising and other income' made up the remaining €281,532 in revenues.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.15m.

Numbers employed remained at 140 while staff costs reduced from €2.17m to €1m as the accounts confirm that staff endured lay-offs and reduced hours during the year.

At the end of October last, the company had accumulated profits of €28.6m.

A note attached to the accounts states that based on the strong balance sheet position and the measures taken to reduce costs, the directors believe that the company is well positioned to return to full trading capacity once the period of uncertainty passes.

Separate accounts for the Paul Ward and Mary Ward-controlled Dublin Cinema Group show that revenues declined by 67%, from €2.99m to €1.02m.

The business recorded a loss of €162,839 for the 12 months to the end of October last as accumulated profits reduced from €61.039m to €60.876m.

A note attached to the accounts states that the company has recommenced to trade and the directors expect a return to normalised trading in a short time frame.