Marcus Corp. reports higher Q4 profit on theater success

Shorter quarter, soft group travel hurt revenue

Greg Marcus
Greg Marcus

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Milwaukee-based The Marcus Corp. today reported fourth quarter net income of $8.7 million, or 31 cents per share, up from $7.7 million, or 27 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Greg Marcus of The Marcus Corp.
Greg Marcus of The Marcus Corp.

Operating income at the hospitality and entertainment company was $15.7 million, down from $16 million in the same period a year ago.

Marcus reported $138.7 million in revenue in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 29, down from $141.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, ended Dec. 31. The company attributed the decrease to the fact that last year’s fourth quarter encompassed an extra week, including New Year’s Eve, which added $14 million in consolidated revenues.

Revenues for rooms were $23.2 million, down from $26.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Food and beverage revenues also dipped, to $16.8 million, down from $19.7 million in the prior year period.

Marcus Corp. experienced fewer group travel bookings during the quarter, which impacted its hotel division revenue, said Greg Marcus, president and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corp. Food and beverage revenue is also highly dependent on catering to large groups.

“When group business is soft, it hits us harder than some others,” Marcus said in a call with analysts. “That was the case in the fourth quarter.”

He said the company has been closely watching the increased hotel room supply in several of its markets, including Milwaukee, Chicago and Oklahoma City.

“Looking ahead, it is not easy to read the crystal ball of the hotel industry, including our own properties,” Marcus said. “While I won’t comment on any particular hotels, we will always consider the opportunity to sell one or more hotels.”

Marcus also said it plans to renovate many of the 14 new theaters it added in December with the acquisition of St. Louis-based Wehrenberg Theatres. It will add its DreamLounger recliner seats, new screens and new food and beverage options at those properties in the second half of this year.

The company also said it would continue to consider theater acquisitions as they arise.

This is the best quarter ever reported for the theater division, which was somewhat unexpected based on the slate of movies lined up for the quarter, Marcus said.

“The fourth quarter was a strong finish to fiscal 2016. We achieved record revenues and operating income for the year, as well as a 23 percent increase in net earnings, despite the extra week in the comparable 2015 period,” he said. “Marcus Theatres had a record fourth quarter and fiscal year and continued to significantly outperform the industry.”

For the full year, Marcus Corp. reported net income of $37.5 million, up from $30.4 million in 2015.

Full-year revenue was $186.8 million, up from $176.3 million.

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