Leading analyst Nick Batram at Peel Hunt has said that although news that Cineworld is to release a pre-close IMS comes as a bit of a surprise, he sees it as a sign that management is keen to reassure the market post chief financial officer Philip Bowcock’s unexpected departure.

He said: “At the AGM, pro forma revenues for the 19 weeks were up 11%, and within this box office was +9%. Since then, UK weekend box office has strengthened further (we estimate +20% yoy for 25 weeks).

“The recent hot spell may take some of the shine off, but anything other than a strong trading statement would be a surprise. Given the importance of H2 (profits typically 40:60), upgrades at the H1 stage are rare and, while we don’t expect to move numbers, it would not come as a complete surprise if we were able to.

“The film slate for the next two years looks above average and this, together with an excellent new site pipeline, should mean that Cineworld continues to deliver a strong bottom-line performance. The CFO’s departure has unsettled the shares but this presents a buying opportunity.”