Miraculous turnaround at Palace

After nearly three years in the doldrums and on life support, helped by a number of popular and well patronized movies, Palace Amusement surged back to life in the December 2022 quarter when it made the first quarterly profit since March 2020. The profit back then was $44 million from revenues of $255 million, with the latest results surpassing it and easing much of the pain and nervousness the company and its staff encountered over the past three years.

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement.

“The company staged three block-buster pictures in the same Quarter – Woman King, Black Panther 2: Wankanda Forever and Avatar 2: The Way of Water; Our patrons’ response was close to 215,000 visits in the Quarter and this helped to push the overall attendance at the end of the six months to over 80 percent of pre-pandemic numbers,” the company’s management stated in a report accompanying the financials.
Palace aced the December quarter with revenues of $486 million, up 222 percent from just $151 million in 2021 and $736 million for the half year, up 218 percent from a mere $232 million in 2021. Accumulated profit of $304 million at June 2019, melted away by $772 million of losses, to a deficit of $468 million up to September last year as revenues were lower than cost, but profit surged to $79 million in the December quarter from a massive loss of $112 million in 2021 and for the half year a profit of $25 million from a loss of $191 million in 2021.
While revenues surged over 200 percent, direct expenses rose a more modest 98 percent in the December quarter and 97 percent, year to date, helping to swell the profit for both periods, but administrative expenses fell from $75 million to $47 million in the quarter and from $104 million for the half year to $75 million. Finance cost rose from $12 million in the 2021 last quarter to $14 million and from $17 million to $28 million for the half year. Legal and professional fees is one of the major areas of cost reduction in the period, dropping from $44 million to just $2 million for the six months period.
Segment Results show revenues of $266 million for Carib Cinema, up from just $91 million in 2021, with a profit of $11 million versus a $21 million loss in 2021. Cineplex had no revenues in 2021 but suffered a loss of $14 million and bounced back in 2022 with revenues of $99 million and profit of $20 million. Sunshine Palace generated revenues of $203 million versus $54 million in 2021 with profit of $41 million compared with a loss of $35 million in 2021. The 2022 revenues include $43 million classified as other activities for Sunshine Palace. Multiplex delivered revenues of $143 million in 2022, up from just $35 million in 2021 with a profit of $20 million versus a loss of $23 million in 2021.
Cash flow brought in $53 million compared with outflows of $163 million in 2021 and helped in boosting funds on hand at the end of the calendar year.

Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay.

From all that can be seen movies are still attracting patronage with what have been described as some good films and by the end of the fiscal year in June, the company seems set to be on its way to justifying their new bankers backing the company with a $700 million loan some of which was used to close out the Scotiabank loan and when the full history of this period unfolds the name Carol Lee, the financial controller will be high on the list for helping to save and restore the company to financial health.
The company now boast equity of $404 million thanks to the above profit and some $772 million in revaluation surplus, with $606 million of it coming in 2020. The company has some more lifting to do to steer them out of the woods while hoping that there will be no major setback in the recovery as they have $756 million in long term debt to be cleared in addition to $60 million of short term loans. There are halfway there with cash funds of $379 million on hand that should grow in the second half of the fiscal year. Palace also has accounts payable amounting to $435 million at the end of 2022 which is up from $386 million at the end of December 2021 and is covered by current assets of $481 million.
At this year’s annual general meeting, shareholders approved a 600 to 1 split as a result the stock trades x-split starting Monday, February 27, with the record date of February 28. The split will take the total number of shares to 862 million from 1.437 million currently.
The company should deliver earnings for the full year ending in June at around $100 per share.

Palace stock trades ex-split next Monday

Palace Amusement stock will trade x-split starting Monday, February 27, following approval at the January Annual general meeting of a 600 to 1 split with the record date of February 28.
The split will take the total number of shares to 862 million from 1.437 million currently and provide more liquidity in trading the company’s shares as more investors will be attracted to it than previously. The stock that traded on Monday at up to $2,700 will see the price dropping to the $4 plus range after the split takes effect next week.
The split comes at an opportune time for the company with its first profit since the March 2020 quarter and one of the best quarterly results in the company’s history.


The stock has enjoyed regular trading since the announcement of the split with the price reaching a record $3,300 and is now trading in the $2,700 range since releasing half year results with profits and revenues surging 222 percent to $486 million, with a profit of $79 million in the December quarter.
The split will result in the stock trading in the $4 to $6 region and will result in almost daily trading thus providing the company with regular publicity that it never had before based on the limited trading opportunities in the past. Such exposure could well result in a 10 to 20 percent jump in attendance as the name and product are beamed regularly on a wider audience than before.

Stock split to drive business for Palace

Palace Amusement stock will trade x-split starting Monday, February, with the record date of February 28 for the 600 to 1 split that will take the total number of shares to 862 million for 1.437 million currently and provide the company with added ongoing publicity.
The stock has enjoyed regular trading since the announcement of the split with the price reaching a record $3,300 and is now trading in the $2,700 range since releasing half year results with profits and revenues surging 222 percent to $486 million, with a profit of $79 million in the December quarter.
The split will result in the stock trading in the $4 to $6 region and will result in almost daily trading thus providing the company with regular publicity that it never had before based on the limited trading opportunities in the past. Such exposure could well result in a 10 to 20 percent jump in attendance as the name and product are beamed regularly on a wider audience than before.

600 to 1 stock split for Palace

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Palace Amusement Company advised that the Board of directors will recommend to shareholders at their upcoming Annual General Meeting to be held on January 24, 2023, that the existing shares be split into 600 units for each currently issued and that the authorised share capital of the Company be increased from 1,500,000 shares to an Unlimited number of shares.

Palace Amusement is recommending 600 to one stock split.

If the resolution if approved at the meeting will take effect from the close of business on February 28, 2023, resulting in the total issued share capital of the company being increased from 1,437,028 ordinary shares to 862,216,800 ordinary shares.
The shares were last traded on Friday at $1,179 each on the Main Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange but jumped nearly 20 percent in Wednesday’s trading session to $1,400, leading to a suspension in trading in the stock. The move will be welcomed by many of the company’s shareholders some of whom have been clamouring for the splitting of the stock for some time and will result in greater liquidity for the stock.

Palace considering split stock

Palace Amusement Company is set to split the stock that last traded at $620 per share on Monday, with a range of 620 to $1,150 for 2022.
The company informed the Jamaica Stock Exchange that the Directors proposed to meet on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, and will be discussing the possibility of a stock split. A split is almost a certainty, with the company having borrowed over $700 million, the opportunity exists to raise fresh capital by way of an additional public issue of shares to pay down the debt. Splitting the stock to make them more attractive to retail investors would be a logical step.
To achieve an attractive price and create wide-scale public interest would require a split in the order of 100 to 200 to one of the existing issued shares and would raise the issued number of shares to between 250 to 300 million units.
Other companies talking about stock splits that could come in 2023 are Medical Disposables that could come with a stock split and a rights issue of more shares to use to fund expansion.

Palace jumps $800 to a record $2,900.

Stationery and Office Supplies informed shareholders at the recently held Annual General Meeting that the directors have been looking but currently the liquidy of the stock does warrant one just yet.
Others that should give serious consideration to splitting their stocks are Access Financial Services, with the stock trading over $20, Dolphin Cove priced in double digits, Barita Investments, Cargo Handlers, Honey Bun, ISP Finance, Knutsford Express and Main Event.

The Show Goes On at Palace

After unprecedented closure of nearly four months, Jamaica’s sole nationwide cinema operators, Palace Amusement reopens its cinemas in Kingston and Montego Bay today with Half of Specials at the Early Show and on Thursday at the Evening Show.
Due to the current curfew, Early Shows will now start at approximately 4:45 pm and Evening Shows at 7:45 pm,
The Company has been granted a provisional 14-day period to resume operations by government, with mandatory health requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Marketing Manager, Melanie Graham says Palace Amusement welcomes the opportunity to reopen after a painful but necessary closure. Palace is ready with a new operational model designed for the safety of its patrons and staff.
The Company will sell approximately 60 percent of capacity, to maintain safe social distancing for patrons seated in its auditoriums. Patrons will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing in queues at the box office and concession. A maximum of four persons from the same household will be able to sit together as a group.  Individual patrons or groups, will be separated by a gap of two seats, among other safety measures as stipulated by the authorities. Sanitisation stations will be set up at convenient points throughout the cinemas and cleaning and sanitisation will be ramped up between shows to ensure a safe and relaxed atmosphere for all. The company stated.
Movies Opening Today My Spy– Breaking all the Rules  with Jamaica’s Parisa Fitz-Henley playing Kate, a single mother to her nine-year-old daughter, Sophie (Chloe Coleman). My Spy is an action-comedy directed by Peter Sega. I Still Believe – Hope in midst of tragedy. From the makers of I Can Only Imagine comes the true life story of Christian music mega star Jeremy Camp and his remarkable journey of love and loss that proves that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing. strong>I Still Believe is a 2020 American Christian musical romantic drama directed by the Erwin Brothers and starring KJ Apa, Britt Robertson, Shania Twain, Melissa Roxburgh, and Gary Sinise and Bloodshot and Bad Boys for Life.

Palace Amusement closes cinemas

In the wake of COVID 19 in Jamaica and recent reports of community spread, the management of Palace Amusement Company has taken the decision to close its four cinemas – Carib 5 and Palace Cineplex in Kingston, Sunshine Palace in Portmore and Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay – until further notice.

Carib Cinema, the flagship for Palace Amusement.

This on the heels of increased sanitization measures rolled by the Company this week to help minimize threats to valued patrons and its staff alike.
Marketing Manager, Melanie Graham says that Palace Amusement is now in unchartered territory with the uncertainties of this global pandemic. “We have been watching developments closely and staying tuned to local advisories on the virus since the news of COVID 19 broke earlier this week”, she said. “This has been a challenging week but we have made the difficult decision to close in the best interest of patrons and our employees alike. We will certainly be hard hit on many levels and at this time we are unable to project when we will resume”.
Globally the movie industry is undergoing a sharp downturn due to COVID 19, as producers and film companies continue to pull their pictures.
Among blockbusters which have been rescheduled, are the highly anticipated Fast and Furious 9 now pushed back one year to April 2021, No Time to Die, the new James Bond movie, now set be released in November and Disney’s Mulan and New Mutants which are delayed without any new release dates attached.
The fallout has also hit Alternative Content now shown exclusively at Palace Cineplex, with the Met Opera’s recent announcement of the cancellation of all performances through March 31.
“Palace Amusement wishes to extend heartfelt sympathy to all persons and families affected by COVID 19. We all have to do our part to ensure that we get through this difficult period in the best way possible.” Graham concluded.

Seasons goodies from Palace

Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.

Palace Amusement announces special offerings for patrons at all of its four cinema locations for this Weekend and on Christmas Eve.
Palace is also offering Half Off Specials at all locations, for early and late shows, on Tuesday, December 24, with the exception of the movie Black Christmas.
Patrons at Sunshine Palace will enjoy late movies at approximately 11 pm this Saturday, December 21, Boxing Day, Thursday, December 26 and Saturday, December 28.
Black Christmas – A fight to the finish|Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. One by one, sorority girls on campus are being killed by an unknown stalker. But the killer is about to discover that this generation’s young women aren’t willing to become hapless victims as they mount a fight to the finish.
Black Christmas is an American slasher film directed by Sophia Takal and written by Takal and April Wolfe. The film stars Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O’Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, and Cary Elwes.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The final chapter will open in Digital 3D at all Palace cinemas on Friday.

A seen from Black Christmas.

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is an American epic space opera film produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams. It will be the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens(2015) and The Last Jedi (2017), and the final episode of the nine-part “Skywalker saga”.  The film’s ensemble cast includes Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Academy Award® winner Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac Anthony, DanielsNaomi AckieDomhnall Gleeson, Academy Award® nominee Richard E. Grant, Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams.

Terminator makes way for Doctor Sleep

Ewan Gordon McGregor starring in Doctor Sleep

The legendary, Terminator came to Palace Amusements’ cinema houses just over a week ago Friday with guns blazing and opening in 8 showings at the start but jumping to thirteen per day the next day, until Tuesday.
The popular series dropped to back to eight shows as of Wednesday, but by Friday the movie was in just three houses for four shows per day.
Doctor Sleep starring Rebecca Ferguson and Ewan McGregor takes over the lead position on Friday, with eight showings per day in all cinemas.
On Wednesday, Harriet entered the Jamaican cinemas with four shows per day. Motherless Brooklyn started on Wednesday with four shows daily and is up to five as of Friday and Countd Wn opened on the same day with three showings.
Black and Blue starring Naomie Harris and Tyrese Gibson, opening with seven daily shows in all cinemas on Wednesday, October 23, continued with 6 on Wednesday, October 30. On Friday, November 2, it fell to five showings, and is back to six shows in three cinemas on Wednesday last and fell to three shows as of Friday.
Gemini Man now in its fifth week at the cinemas, is now down to just two shows per day.  with Angelina Jolie is having just one regular showing and two early shows at Cineplex and Sunshine Palace, in the 2-2:30 pm time slot.

Terminator blazes to 13 shows daily

The legendary, Terminator in which Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future came to Palace Amusements’ four cinema houses on Friday with guns blazing.
Opening on Friday in all the four cinemas with two showings per day for a total of eight, the popular movie has since jumped to thirteen per day on Saturday with the recently opened Sunshine Palace having four per day. Schedules for Wednesday were not available but the odds favour the popular actioned packed movie continuing to dominate the screens well beyond this week. Based on recent popular movies, the hike in showings suggest that Terminator will last for about 6 weeks, taking it well into December when the popular Star Wars series come to town, with The Rise of Skywalker in mid-December.
This is only the second time since the Will Smith starring Gemini Man debuted on October 9 that a movie opened with 8 shows daily. Only Fast and Furious that started showing in July had more than 13 showings per day with opening with 15 and then moving to 17 in August. Gemini Man now in its fourth week is down to five shows per day and is one of the movies that have made space for this week’s leading movie. Also making way is Maleficent Mistress of Evil with Angelina Jolie that is now down to just three regular showings from six on Wednesday and the long-running Jokers that is down from two per day to just one starting Friday. Maleficent Mistress of Evil also has two early shows in the 2-2:30 pm time slot.

Gemini Man still holding the audience for 4 weeks

New at the movies last week were Black and Blue starring Naomie Harris and Tyrese Gibson, opening with seven daily shows in all cinemas and continues with 6 on Wednesday but fell to five showings from Friday to Tuesday this week.
Continuing with four daily shows in all cinemas are Downton Abbey the continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century, on Saturday the movie is now down to three showings in regular slot but on Sunday there was a special early show at Cineplex.  Mary, the tale of a family looking to start a charter-boat business, buying a ship that holds terrifying secrets once out on isolated waters opened on Wednesday with four shows but that gave way to the increased demand for Terminator on Saturday.
On Wednesday Harriet enters the Jamaican cinemas as the sole newcomer. Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, ‘Harriet’ follows Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.