The last three months of 2017 witnessed a 1.3% drop to $140.7 million from $142.5 million. The company says this was partly due to lower in-theater audience.
“December audience fell short of expectations with overall attendance down 0.6% year-over-year,” says Andy England, CEO of National CineMedia, in an earnings phone call on Monday.
England adds that local and regional advertising sales in particular showed declines -- down 18.3% to $32.1 million from $39.3 million in the fourth quarter of last year. The $7.2 million decrease was primarily due to a significant decline in larger contracts over $100,000.
But he expects future growth now that National CineMedia is being incorporated into a major media agency system.
“We did, however, continue to see increasing benefits from our strategy of integrating into the Mediaocean and STRATA planning and buying systems....allowing spot TV buys to view NCMs local audience ratings, alongside those of local TV stations in 97 DMAs.”
Digital media revenue grew 37.9% in the period.
The company said it recorded a net loss of $5.4 million versus net income in the fourth quarter of 2016 of $13.4 million. Total revenue for 2017 declined 4.8% to $426.1 million. For the full year 2018, the company expects total revenue to be flat, to 4.5%.
Early Tuesday morning trading of its stock was down 10.0% to $6.14.
National CineMedia’s advertising network includes 20,800 screens in more than 1,650 theaters in 187 Designated Market Areas.