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PVR expects to go back to pre-pandemic screen addition rate by FY23

Betting big on Maharashtra, which contributes 25-30 percent to a Hindi film's collection, PVR is expecting a significantly better third quarter

October 22, 2021 / 08:52 PM IST
The company in the first six months of the current financial year added 13 screens

The company in the first six months of the current financial year added 13 screens

 
 
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Multiplex operator PVR will add few screens this year but the pace is expected to pick up next financial year.  

For the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the company reported consolidated revenue of Rs 275.2 crore as against Rs 110.6 crore for the same period last year.

 PVR reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of Rs 86.7 crore against Rs 14 crore in Q2FY21. PVR's PAT for the quarter was Rs 153.3 crore against Rs 184.1 crore in Q2FY21. 

The company in the first six months of the current financial year added 13 screens including six screens in Jio World Drive, Mumbai; four Director’s Cut screens in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon and three screens in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

“Most of the screens that we are opening were partly built before and during the pandemic, and work on them has been completed now... screen additions for the rest of the year will be fewer. Bulk of screen addition will happen next year and we hope to get back to pre-pandemic run rate sometime next financial year," Nitin Sood, CFO, PVR Ltd, told Moneycontrol

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He added that the company hasn't started capital expenditure or handover of new screens and will take a view on it in the next couple of months. "Pre-pandemic we added 87 screens in FY19-20. So, we should be back to adding 80-100 screens. There is a fairly large pipeline of screens."

Bollywood bet

With Maharashtra allowing theatres to reopen from October 22, around 90 percent of PVR screens are currently operational. The company operates 38 cinemas and has 157 screens in the State. 

Betting big on Maharashtra, which contributes 25-30 percent to a Hindi film's collection, PVR is expecting a significantly better third quarter. "It will take another quarter to get closer to pre-COVID numbers,” he added. 

In Q3FY22, Bollywood will be offering a strong lineup of films, including big ventures such as Akshay Kumar's Sooryavanshi on November 5, Bunty Aur Babli 2 on November 19, Ranveer Singh's 83 on December 24 and Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey on December 31. 

The lineup is expected to revive the north and west markets, where theatres have seen poor footfalls from lack of Bollywood content.  

On the other hand, markets that are dependent on local content are seeing strong attendance at cinemas. 

"While Hindi films contribute 50-55 percent of our revenues, even without these films, we have seen strong recovery in markets that are not dependent on Hindi films such as Punjab where the admissions have been higher than pre-pandemic levels. Down south, markets such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are already at 80-85 percent of pre-COVID level," said Sood. 

Overall, admissions have reached 68 percent of pre-pandemic levels, despite capacity restrictions and no large Hindi movie releases. 

In Q2FY22, PVR registered 32 lakh admits against 15 lakh admits in the previous quarter. 

F&B boost

Along with footfalls, ticket pricing and food and beverage (F&B) spends are at pre-pandemic levels. Sood said that F&B spending is 20-25 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The company recorded Rs 5,306 lakh revenue from F&B sales in Q2 FY22 against Rs 2,269 lakh in the previous quarter.  

While footfalls and F&B are seeing growth, one segment of cinema remains a laggard.

"They (advertisers) will start coming but this segment has been a laggard in the quarter (Q2 FY22). Advertising is a function of performance of a film at the box office. Once Hindi films start crossing Rs 100 crore box office numbers, I think advertising will start happening in a big way. Our sense is, it will take another quarter for that to return. While it has begun, it is significantly lower than pre-pandemic level," said Sood.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Oct 22, 2021 08:21 pm

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