National CineMedia Posts 7% Gain For In-Theater Ad Revenue

National CineMedia, the large in-theater advertising network, posted a 7% increase in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter.

Its Friday morning stock price was sharply up 14% to $9.15.

Total revenue for the period grew $147.2 million --  a record for the quarter. This compares to $137.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Net income was up 17% to $19.1 million, from $16.3 million.

The company posted $110.3 million from national advertisers, $19.6 million from local advertisers, and $10.5 million from regional advertisers in the period.

Last year, NCM instituted new advertising inventory that begins just before the start of a movie -- five minutes of advertising that runs right after the advertised showtime as the auditorium lights dim. NCM calls this its “lights-down inventory.”



In addition, it also has one-minute inventory running just before the last one or two trailers prior to the start of film, its so-called “platinum inventory.”

Tom Lesinski, chief executive officer of National CineMedia, told analysts during its earnings call on Thursday that platinum CPMs were more than 50% higher than its national pre-show average.

He adds that the company continues to build its in-theater data platform  “We've continued to grow our first- and second-party data sets from 27 million in 2018 to over 106 million.”

Total advertising per theatergoer was up $0.912 from $0.767 in fourth quarter versus the previous period.

For the 2019 year, revenue was virtually flat at $444.8 million versus $441.4 million, with net income up 21% to $36.1 million from $29.8 million.

Total attendance for the year among its theater members for the NCM advertising network dipped 651.4 million versus 705.1 million for the year and for the fourth quarter as well -- 154.0 million from 169.4 million.

Theater chain members for For NCM “Noovie” pre-show include AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group.

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