Wanda Group’s Sales Rise 11% in First Half on Entertainment

  • Entertainment business revenue jumps 57% to 29 billion yuan
  • At main real estate business, Wanda revenue continues to fall

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co. reported first-half sales climbed 11 percent from a year earlier, driven by gains from its entertainment operations.

Total revenue climbed to 119.9 billion yuan ($18 billion) during the first six months, Wanda said in a statement on Tuesday. The entertainment business, called Wanda Cultural Industry Group, saw sales rise 57 percent to 29 billion yuan. Wanda didn’t disclose any profit figures.

Wanda forecast in January that revenue would fall this year, the first decline in at least 11 years, as the slump in the group’s main real estate business overshadows gains from the burgeoning entertainment operations. Sales at the commercial property business dropped 12 percent in the first half, though that’s a smaller drop than the 32 percent slump it had predicted for the full year.

Wang is shifting Wanda’s focus to the fast-growing entertainment industry in recent years, especially in tourism and film. That’s at the expense of the real estate business, whose proportion of total sales diminished to 54 percent in the first half versus 68 percent a year ago.

The Chinese tycoon has said he plans to open 15 Wanda City theme parks by 2020 in China as part of his entertainment push, challenging Walt Disney Co., which opened its first mainland theme park in Shanghai last month. He also said Disney is no match for his pack of wolves and the U.S. company shouldn’t have stepped on his home turf.

At the film business, Wang’s movie-theater operator Wanda Cinema Line Co. is planning to buy affiliates Legendary Entertainment and other film-making assets for 37.2 billion yuan as Wang consolidates the movie-related business. In addition, his U.S. theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is seeking to buy its rival Carmike Cinemas Inc.

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