Business Strategy

Our business strategy is predicated on our ability to allocate capital effectively to enhance value for our stockholders. This strategy focuses on enhancing our position in the motion picture exhibition industry by capitalizing on prudent industry consolidation and partnership opportunities, managing, expanding and upgrading our existing asset base with new technologies and customer amenities and realizing selective growth opportunities through new theatre construction. Our business strategy should enable us to continue to produce the free cash flow necessary to maintain a prudent allocation of our capital among dividend payments, debt service and repayment and investment in our theatre assets, all to provide meaningful value to our stockholders. Key elements of our business strategy include:

Maximizing Stockholder Value

We believe that our cash dividends are an efficient means of distributing value to our stockholders. From our initial public offering ("IPO") in May 2002 through December 31, 2016, we have returned approximately $4.2 billion to our stockholders in the form of quarterly and extraordinary cash dividends.  During our most recent five year period, we returned approximately $1.0 billion to our stockholders in quarterly and extraordinary cash dividends.

Pursuing Prudent Acquisitions and Maximizing Strategic Partnerships
We believe that our acquisition experience and capital structure position us well to take advantage of future acquisition opportunities and to participate in various partnership initiatives. We intend to selectively pursue accretive theatre acquisitions and theatre-related investments that enhance and more fully utilize our asset base to improve our consolidated operating results and free cash flow.

With respect to partnership initiatives, we own approximately 19.7% of National CineMedia, LLC ("National CineMedia" or "NCM") as of December 31, 2016. National CineMedia operates the largest digital in-theatre advertising network in North America and focuses on in-theatre advertising for its theatrical exhibition partners, which includes us, AMC Entertainment, Inc. ("AMC"), and Cinemark, Inc. ("Cinemark"). See "National CineMedia Joint Venture" under Part I, Item I of our Form 10-K for further discussion of National CineMedia. We also participate in other joint ventures and partnerships such as Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, LLC ("DCIP"), Open Road Films, AC JV, LLC ("AC JV"), Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition ("DCDC") and Atom Tickets, LLC ("Atom Tickets"), which are also further discussed under Part I, Item I of our Form 10-K. We believe our investment in National CineMedia and other joint venture arrangements generate incremental value for our stockholders.
Pursuing Premium Experience Opportunities

We continue to embrace innovative concepts that generate incremental revenue and cash flows for the Company and deliver a premium movie-going experience for our customers on several complementary fronts:

  • First, we continued to improve customer amenities, primarily through the installation of luxury reclining seats. With respect to our luxury reclining seating initiative, as of December 31, 2016, we offered luxury reclining seating in 1,369 auditoriums at 113 theatre locations. We expect to install luxury reclining seating in approximately 40-45 locations during 2017 and expect to outfit approximately 45% of the total screens in our circuit by the end of 2019. The costs of these conversions in some cases are partially covered by contributions from our theatre landlords.
  • Second, to address consumer trends and customer preferences, we have continued to expand our menu of food and alcoholic beverage products to an increasing number of attendees. The enhancement of our food and alcoholic beverage offerings has had a positive effect on our operating results, and we expect to continue to invest in such offerings in our theatres. As of December 31, 2016, we offered an expanded menu of food in 216 locations (reaching approximately 53% of our fiscal 2016 attendees) and alcoholic beverages in 143 locations (reaching approximately 28% of our fiscal 2016 attendees), and we expect to offer an expanded menu of food in approximately 270 locations and alcoholic beverages in approximately 215 locations by the end of 2017.
  • Third, we continued to implement various customer engagement initiatives aimed at delivering a premium movie-going experience for our customers in order to better compete for patrons and build brand loyalty. For example, we maintain a frequent moviegoer loyalty program, named the Regal Crown Club®, to actively engage our core customers. During the first quarter of 2016, we completed the national rollout of the new Regal Crown Club®. Members of the enhanced program can earn unlimited credits and can redeem such credits for movie tickets, concession items and movie memorabilia at the theatre or in an online reward center where members can select the rewards of their choice. We believe these changes allow us to offer more relevant offers to our members and increase customer engagement in the program. As of December 31, 2016, we had approximately 11.8 million active members in the Regal Crown Club®, making it the largest loyalty program in our industry.
  • In addition, we continued to develop and enhance other customer engagement initiatives such as mobile ticketing applications, internet ticketing, social media and other marketing initiatives. For example, we have improved the customer experience of purchasing tickets by expanding our ability to sell tickets remotely via our mobile ticketing application and through our internet ticketing partners such as Fandango.com and Atom Tickets. Customers can choose their preferred ticketing option, which in many cases means they can pre-purchase tickets, scan their mobile device and proceed directly to their reserved seat without waiting in line. In addition to providing customers the ability to pre-purchase tickets, our mobile ticketing application provides customers the ability to find films, movie information, showtimes, track Regal Crown Club® credits and receive special offers from Regal. Finally, at nearly one third of our locations, our newest ticketing partner, Atom Tickets, provides our patrons the ability to bypass concession stand lines by pre-purchasing concession items via their mobile device. We believe these technologies provide a platform for delivering a quality customer experience and will drive incremental revenues and cash flows in a more cost-effective manner.
  • Finally, our IMAX® digital projection systems and our proprietary large screen format, RPXSM, offer our patrons all-digital, large format premium experiences and generate incremental revenue and cash flows for the Company. As of December 31, 2016, our IMAX® footprint consisted of 89 IMAX® screens, and we operated 93 RPXSM screens. We continue to selectively install RPXSM screens where we can generate a financial return, and we have recently agreed to install an additional 11 IMAX® digital projection systems, which will ultimately expand our IMAX® footprint to 100 screens.
  • We believe the continued rollout of premium amenities such as luxury reclining seating, a wider array of food and alcoholic beverage offerings and IMAX® and RPXSM screens allow us to deliver a premium movie-going experience for a majority of our customers. We believe this strategy will enable us to better compete for patrons and build brand loyalty, which we believe will provide us the opportunity for incremental revenue and cash flows.

Pursuing Selective Growth Opportunities and Active Asset Management

We intend to selectively pursue expansion opportunities through new theatre construction, expansion and upgrades that meet our strategic and financial return criteria. Additionally, we manage our asset base by opportunistically closing underperforming theatres. We continued to actively manage our asset base during fiscal 2016 by opening two theatres with 19 screens, reopening five screens at an existing theatre and closing 13 theatres and 118 screens, ending the year with 561 theatres and 7,267 screens.

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