Multiplex major PVR plans to invest ₹ 150 crore to open up to 40 screens across the country in the next fiscal.
The company’s target of having 1,000 operational screens has been pushed by a year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to the end of fiscal 2022-23, a top company official has said.
"We had to push back our plan by exactly a year because of the pandemic … By the end of the financial year 2022-23, we should be able to reach 1,000 screens," Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd told PTI.
The company, which added 9 new screens this week in Mysuru and Kanpur, plans to add 30-40 new screens in the next financial year beginning April 1.
Mr. Bijli said ₹ 150 crore would be outlay for the opening of new screens in the next fiscal.
PVR at present operates over 844 screens at 177 properties in 71 cities (India and Sri Lanka).
Mr. Bijli said a strong content pipeline of star-studded Indian and regional films as well as foreign language films along with an aggressive vaccination drive in the country will bring back audiences to the cinema.
"We have had a mixed couple of last months. Not very exciting because no big Hindi movie got released. Hindi movies will start releasing from March 11. We have a strong content pipeline. The year (next fiscal) looks very promising," he added.
When asked if the company is also looking for acquisition opportunities for adding screens, Mr. Bijli said the company always looks at the options available.
"There is no one approach for growth. We keep an eye out for all sorts of opportunities as long as they make sense in terms of numbers, location," he noted.
The multiplex industry has been one of the worst impacted segments due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government allowed cinema halls across the country to operate at full capacity from February 1 with adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Prior to that, multiplexes and cinema halls were operating at 50 % sitting capacity in accordance with the Unlock-5 guidelines issued by the government following the pandemic. Multiplexes and cinema halls were closed for almost seven months and opened in October last year.
PVR had reported a consolidated net loss of ₹ 49.10 crore for the third quarter ended December 2020, as it continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company had posted a consolidated net profit of ₹ 36.34 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
Revenue from operations during the period under review stood at ₹ 45.10 crore, down 95.04 % from ₹ 915.74 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
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