As a result, the group's overall performance for the year is expected to be in line with current market expectations.
The group reached record admissions levels in 2016, passing the milestone of over 100 million people coming through our doors to watch a movie. Admissions increased in both the UK & Ireland and the ROW, with double digit growth taking place in the ROW. The top performing movies of the year were "Star Wars: Rogue One", "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" and "Bridget Jones's Baby", "The Jungle Book", "The Secret Life of Pets" and "Zootropolis". Local movies continued to be popular in the ROW, especially in Poland.
The increase in admissions, nature of the film mix and the expansion of retail offerings, (including seven new Starbucks outlets and three VIP sites) drove the 12.7% growth in retail revenues.
Other Income, which predominantly consists of advertising and distribution revenues, increased by 7.0%. The distribution revenue stream is largely dependent on the film slate.
As the final quarter of 2015 was a strong comparative, which included "Spectre", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2", the overall growth achieved in Other Income reflects a solid performance.
The Group now operates 226 sites with 2,115 screens. This includes eight sites opened during 2016, four in the UK and four in the ROW, as well as the five Empire sites acquired in August 2016. This builds on the record number of 18 site openings in 2015. In addition, the Group continued its estate management programme with ten major refurbishments completed during 2016. Five smaller sites were closed.
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