Money Cineplex lays off nearly 100 staff, stock down almost 40 per cent since last year

12:56  12 april  2018
12:56  12 april  2018 Source:   Global News

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People leave a Cineplex theatre in Toronto on November 4, 2016.© CP Images/Nathan Denette People leave a Cineplex theatre in Toronto on November 4, 2016.

Cineplex, the dominant movie and theatrical entertainment company in Canada, has had a rough year, culminating in the layoffs of nearly 100 full-time employees this week.

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The Toronto-based company's spokesperson Sarah Van Lange wouldn't say exactly how many jobs are being cut overall, but says the layoffs will impact fewer than 100 employees. (An anonymous reader wrote to Global News warning of more layoffs to come, but this hasn't been verified.)

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Lange says the cuts are part of a "small restructuring" happening at the entertainment giant.

"A number of roles were eliminated in addition to an overall cost reduction plan representing approximately $25 million annually," clarified Van Lange to Global News. "These changes were necessary, as they eliminated duplicate roles following several business acquisitions, as well as streamlined our business as we continue to execute on our diversification strategy."

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She didn't clarify what Cineplex's plans are to diversify, but it's clear the company needs to examine its approach in the face of a tumultuous, changing industry. According to Bloomberg, in 2017 movie theatre attendance in the U.S. and Canada fell to its lowest point since at least 1992.

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As reflected in Cineplex's 2017 financial report, box office revenues slightly increased year-over-year amid a rise in ticket prices, up 3.2 per cent on average.

Cineplex's stock tumbled nearly 40 per cent in the past 12 months. As of April 11 of last year, the stock was valued at $50.83, and now it's worth $30.97 per share. It dropped 18.1 per cent in January 2018 alone, and is hovering at a six-year low.

A source familiar with the company told Global News that morale is very low among existing Cineplex employees, and some people are "miserable" there.

With files from The Canadian Press

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