Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Cineworld to temporarily suspend operations in UK and US
- 45,000 employees impacted
- Closures begin on Thursday
- James Bond delay was final blow
Also coming up…
- UK car sales fell around 4% in September
- Global markets rise on Trump medical news
Shares in Cineworld have more than halved at the start of trading in London, to a new all-time low.
They’ve slumped by 56% to 17p, as City traders react to the temporary closure of screens across the UK and US – two major markets for the group in better times.
The closure of Cineworld venues across the UK and US is a huge blow to the “beleaguered entertainment industry”, says Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:
New infection spikes amid warnings that the virus spreads more quickly indoors, is keeping customers away and with no big names to lure them through the doors this winter, Cineworld has reached this difficult decision in a bid to cut costs and preserve cash. With a vaccine still just out of reach, Cineworld won’t put a date on when venues will reopen next year and is now assessing various sources of additional liquidity, including raising cash from shareholders to try and stay afloat.
All operations will be suspended at 536 theatres in the US and 127 Cineworld and Picture house theatres in the UK on Thursday. The news will increase the clamour for more support for the entertainment, recreation and arts industry which still has 51% of workers on furlough.
The new jobs support scheme, which will subsidise wages of part time workers will provide no lifeline for the 5,500 Cineworld UK employees who will lose their jobs this week and many others across the industry are facing a bleak winter on jobseekers benefit, while they begin the difficult search for new positions in the run up to Christmas.’’