PVR Ltd. has restarted its capex cycle after a crippling pandemic, with plans to open as many as 125 screens in the fiscal ending March 31, 2023.
India’s biggest multiplex operator also aims to complete its merger with rival Inox Leisure Ltd. in the current financial year.
“Business is expected to grow in the coming quarters, supported by the growth in ATP (average ticket price) and SPH (spend per head) already witnessed in Q3 & Q4 FY 2021-22, occupancy percentage reclaiming pre-pandemic highs on the back of stellar content line-up, and the advertising income coming back to pre-pandemic level over the next few months,” PVR said in its the annual report for 2021-22.
“The company is restarting its capex cycle from FY2022-23 and has plans of opening (around) 125 screens this year, breaking its own record of opening 87 screens in a year in FY 2019-20. The company had opened 29 screens across five properties in FY 2021-22.”
Calling the pandemic-impacted years as “the most trying period for our business”, PVR Chairman said Ajay Bijli said that audiences are now clamouring to come back to theatres. “We were confident that theatrical exhibition industry having withstood innumerable challenges in the past would bounce back dynamically in FY23,” he said in the annual report.
On the PVR-Inox merger, the company said it is currently in the process of seeking approvals and hopes to complete the amalgamation in the current fiscal.
The companies will merge in a share-swap ratio of three shares of PVR for every 10 shares of Inox. The merged entity will be called PVR Inox Ltd. but their existing screens will retain individual branding. New cinemas will be branded PVR Inox.
“While strongly countering the adversities posed by the advent of various OTT platforms and the after-effects of the pandemic, the combined entity would also work towards taking world-class cinema experience closer to the consumers in Tier II and III markets,” the annual report stated.
In the fiscal ended March 31, 2022, PVR Ltd. clocked a revenue of Rs 1,409 crore. The box-office revenue stood Rs 670 crore, with average ticket price of Rs 235. Its total number of admissions was 3.3 crore.