Aussie group enters UK cinema sales

Australian cinema sales house Val Morgan has opened an office in the UK, introducing a third sales house into the market for the first time in 30 years.

Val Morgan will compete in a market dominated by Carlton Screen Advertising, which has 75 per cent of the market. Pearl & Dean takes the rest.

Val Morgan will represent the Australian cinema exhibition chain Hoyts, which opens a 13-screen site this autumn at Bluewater shopping mall in Kent, followed by another screen in Wood Green, north London next year.

The new sales operation will be headed by Paul Butler in the new position of general manager for Europe and the Middle East.

Val Morgan bought Pearl & Dean in Australia. Although it shares the same name as the well-known UK house, it has a different owner.

There has been speculation that Val Morgan was to buy Pearl & Dean in the UK. The sales house has established a working relationship with Pearl & Dean, because it will sub-contract its Hoyts business to the UK house. Clients will deal directly with Val Morgan on third-party promotions, including sponsorship and sampling deals inside cinemas.

Butler says: “We are looking to grow rapidly in the UK. And the only way you can do that is through organic growth or acquisition.”

The UK cinema sales market is worth about &£90m.

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