Last year was one to forget for Dalian Wanda, with the Chinese real estate and entertainment powerhouse reporting a nearly 11 percent drop in revenue in 2017 this past weekend.
The company disclosed RMB 227.37B ($35.5B) in revenue, a 10.8 percent drop from 2016 — despite its film business pulling in RMB 53.B ($8.3B) in sales, a 35.9 percent increase year-over-year. But even this fell short of expectations, with Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin saying it was about 1 percent below company projections.
“It is somewhat of a shame to know that the target might have been achieved with just a little more effort,” said Wang in a statement.
Wanda — the owner of AMC Theaters and Legendary Pictures — said it opened 199 new theaters around the globe, pushing its count to more than 1,500 cinemas. But increased scrutiny from Chinese regulators curbed the group’s expansion outside of its home country, with the government looking to curtail investment in foreign real estate and entertainment.
The effect was noticeable for its real estate business, which had a 24 percent drop in revenue from the previous year. With Wanda selling off its hotels and other assets, it is looking to focus on “new core enterprises” like film and TV as part of its rebound. “We should continue to maintain a high growth-rate and make up for content shortcomings so as to achieve the medium- and long-term enterprise goals for film and television,” the company announced on Saturday.
Reducing debt and finding more Disney-esque attractions for its tourism projects were also on the to-do list for 2018. Wang then pointed to the conglomerate’s 30th anniversary, saying 2018 was “vitally important” for the company.
“There is an ancient Chinese saying that says, ‘A man should be steadfast at the age of 30,'” said Wang. “Wanda is committed to becoming a century-old enterprise, and now ushers in this new starting point.”