HONG KONG -- Imax China Holding tumbled here Thursday after catching investors off guard with a net loss for the year ended December.
The cinema operator reported a $181 million loss before the start of trading, down from the year-earlier $22.78 million profit. Sales grew 41% to $110 million.
Imax China ended the day down 2.44% at 43.90 Hong Kong dollars ($5.65) after dropping 10% at one point to a four-month low.
One-time expenses forced valuation losses, accounting for the unforecast net loss. Adjusted profit disregarding such factors grew 66.9% to $43.4 million. The gross profit margin for the year widened 6 percentage points to 65.4%.
The company operated 307 screens in 109 Chinese cities at the end of 2015. Box-office revenue grew 54% to $312 million, indicating that the economic deceleration is having a limited effect on the film industry.
Imax China listed here in early October. It holds an exclusive license to develop the Imax projection system, developed by Canada's Imax, in greater China. The crowd-pleasing format features large screens and powerful audio. The company looks to continue developing its network with a focus on regional cities, planning to add another 100 screens this year.