India’s largest cinema operator PVR used the latest earnings announcement to announce its expansion plan. For the coming financial year the multiplex chain intends to open 125 screens across India, kickstarting an aggressive expansion plan after an extended Covid-induced hiatus. In the last financial year PVR opened just 29 screens across five sites.
PVR plans to spend up to INR 400 crore (USD $51.72 million) on the expansion, which will be funded out of its available liquidity of INR 667 crore (USD $86.24 million), including undrawn capital lines with lender.
“We are doubling down on our investments, and if everything goes as planned, this year we will break our record of the maximum number of screens openings in a year in India,”Ajay Bijli, CMD of PVR
PVR acknowledged that January and February were loss-making months, due to Covid restrictions, but that March was very good, both in terms of admissions and in terms of food and beverage sales. The company had 9 million admission in March and almost 22% operating margins, it claimed.
Quarterly revenue was INR 553.56 crore (USD $71.58 million), up from INR 190.86 crore (USD $24.68 million) in the same quarter last year. EBITDA loss was reduced to INR 17.69 crore (USD $2.29 million) from INR 118.21 crore (USD $15.28 million in the same quarter 2021. PVR saw its highest-ever quarterly average ticket price (ATP) of INR 242 (USD $3.13) and spends per head (SPH) of INR 122 (USD $1.51) on the back of a strong film slate of both Bollywood and regional Indian titles.
PVR is in the process of merging with India’s second largest multiplex operator INOX Leisure and hopes to have the process concluded by 31 December this year.