‘No rationalisation but there could be upgradations post PVR-INOX amalgamation’

The merger of two multiplex chains – PVR Ltd and INOX Leisure – will not result in any rationalisation of properties but there may be upgradation of some screens based on the market, a senior PVR official said.

Chief Financial Officer Nitin Sood also said the company’s Sri Lankan operations have done well during the third quarter despite the economic turmoil the country is facing.

Recently the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench, has through its verbal order, allowed the proposed scheme of amalgamation between PVR and INOX Leisure.

“Post amalgamation, there will not be any rationalisation of screens. But there can be upgrades based on the market demand,” Sood told IANS.

He said post-amalgamation, the company’s new name will be PVR INOX Ltd and the screens will be branded as PVR INOX.

The company expects to complete all the legal formalities with respect to proposed merger including issue of PVR shares to INOX shareholders within the next 45 days of receipt of certified true copy of the order passed by the NCLT.

“With the verbal approval for the merger coming through from NCLT, we are tracking well within the projected timelines for the closure of the transaction. We intend to complete all the formalities within the current financial year,” Chairman cum Managing Director Ajay Bijli said in a statement.

Queried about the average occupancy level of 29 per cent, Sood said the two main reasons are the Hindi and Hollywood movies didn’t do well. There were fewer releases of Hollywood movies.

According to the company, the content of Hindi movies were not in sync with consumer tastes and the quality of content taking precedence over superstars. This trend is likely to change in 2023.

Going forward, Sood said Hindi and Hollywood movies are expected to do well.

He said the Hindi movie “Pathaan” will open in a big manner and the campaign against any movie will not have any impact.

Be that as it may, the immediate focus will be on integrating the two entities and there is no near term plans to expand overseas but there are plans to expand into other Indian cities.

During FY23 till date, PVR had opened 63 screens and 47 more are to be opened before the close of this fiscal.

Presently PVR has 181 cinemas with 903 screens in 78 cities with a total seating capacity of about 186,000.

Sood also said PVR’s Sri Lankan operations generated about Rs 6-7 crore during the third quarter of FY23 as consumers want to step out despite the economic downturn there.

For the third quarter of FY23, PVR’s standalone net profit stood at Rs 12.93 crore (Q3FY22 net loss of Rs 24.53 crore) on a total income of Rs 858.96 crore (Rs 626.28 crore).

The company’s total expenses for the period under review stood at Rs 837.56 crore (Rs 664.56 crore).

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

20230119-190202

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