CINEWORLD has revealed a loss of 3.01billion US dollars – £2.2bn – in 2020.

But the cinema chain – which operates the nine-screen multiplex at Whiteley Shopping Centre and Southampton's Harbour Lights Picturehouse – is hopeful that it will benefit from strong pent-up demand when cinemas reopen.

Revenues last year fell by 80 per cent, with cinemas closed for prolonged periods in the UK and much of the US, and admissions fell from 275m to 54.5m.

The group said it was hopeful of a recovery thanks to vaccine progress and “strong pent-up demand” once its cinemas open in the US from April 2, in the UK from May 17, and the rest of the world also in May.

But it warned of “material uncertainties” over its ability to continue as a going concern, given the potential for further disruption to its sites and the release of films during the crisis.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “For all of us across the world, this has been an incredibly challenging year.

“At Cineworld, I never imagined a time that we would see the closure of our entire cinema estate, nor that varying restrictions would remain in place for so long as we continue to navigate our way through this crisis.”

The group’s entire 767 cinema estate has been shut for lengthy periods since last March.

But it said: “Looking forward, the outlook is more positive, with restrictions expected to ease in light of the vaccination programmes under way across our territories.”

The group also separately announced on Thursday moves to boost its battered balance sheet by another 213m US dollars (£155.8m) through a bond fundraising.