Multiplex chain operator PVR Ltd on June 8 reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 74.61 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2020.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak in India, theatres were the first to shut shop and had stopped operations since the second week of March which led to zero box office collections.

This is why PVR’s revenue from operations during the quarter under review stood at Rs 645.13 crore which was was Rs 837.63 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The company posted a net profit of Rs 46.75 crore in the January-March quarter a year ago, PVR said in a BSE filing.

“Beginning March 11, 2020, the company started closing its screens in accordance with the order passed by various regulatory authorities and within a few days most of our cinemas across the country were shut down,” PVR said in a statement.

Besides, PVR has taken one-time write off of perishable inventory of Rs 1.83 crore in March 2020, on account of spoilage due to closure of cinemas pursuant to COVID-19, it added.

PVR’s total expenses was at Rs 731.84 crore in fourth quarter of 2019-20 as against Rs 771.27 crore a year ago.

Revenue from movie exhibitions was at Rs 628.88 crore and Rs 29.89 crore from others which includes movie production, distribution and gaming.

Meanwhile, PVR said its results for year ended March 31, 2020, are not comparable with year ended March 31, 2019, ‘on account of acquisition of SPI Cinemas’.

Currently, PVR operates 845 screens in 176 properties across 71 cities. Meanwhile, in a separate filing PVR has informed the BSE that its board in a meeting held on Monday has approved to raise Rs 300 crore through rights issue.

For the fiscal year 2019-20, PVR’s net profit was at Rs 26.85 crore. It was Rs 189.40 crore in 2018-19.

Its revenue from operations in FY20 was Rs 3,414.44 crore. It stood at Rs 3,085.56 crore in FY19.

Shares of PVR Ltd on Monday settled at Rs 1,159.50 apiece on the BSE, down 6.60 per cent over previous close.

Q2 was best performing for PVR

For PVR during FY20, the second quarter was one of the best periods.

In an earlier interview to Moneycontrol, Nitin Sood, CFO, PVR had said that “Q2 was clearly one of the best quarters with 2.93 lakh admissions. The company had recorded 2.58 lakh admissions in the third quarter.

In the second quarter, along with the growth in advertising revenue, the box office revenue for the quarter was up by 32 percent led by a 25 percent growth in admits. Plus, F&B (food and beverage) revenues were up by 38 percent.

For its September quarter results, brokerage firms termed PVR’s performance remarkable despite the economic slowdown.

While the company dealt with the slowdown blues, the pandemic has hit the company hard as the first quarter of FY21 will be a lost opportunity with no signs of theatres opening even in June. Even Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Ltd in an interview had said that cinemas are likely to open in July.

Cinemas will take time top open

Cinemas are in the last phase of unlocking and the dates of reopening will be decided after assessing the situation.

According to film trade experts, cinema business in March alone suffered losses of around Rs 800 crore. Plus, many releases have been delayed as cinemas are closed.

Films like Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, Salman Khan-starrer Radhe and Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan’s Coolie No 1 is on hold as these films are looking for a theatrical release only.

This is why many exhibitors say that these are not losses but the gains that were to be made from these films have been pushed to another quarter.

Even Bijli is confident that “business will come back stronger once the health concern due to spread of Covid-19 gets controlled.”

Single screens are more vulnerable

If multiplex operators are finding it tough, the situation is getting worse for single screen theatres. Single screen exhibitors that Moneycontrol have spoken to said that it is getting harder for them to sustain as fixed costs like salaries and theatre maintenance is an added burden with absolutely no income coming in the form of box office revenues. Single screen owners are paying salaries from their pockets.

(With inputs from PTI)

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