PVR, the country’s largest multiplex chain operator, on Thursday reported a consolidated net profit of ₹16.15 crore during October-December 2022 quarter, against a loss of ₹10.18 crore in the year-ago Covit-hit period. The profit rose sharply from a loss of ₹71.23 crore in the previous quarter (Q2 FY23), driven by good recovery in box office collections.

“The quarter witnessed a sharp bounceback from the previous quarter on the back of strong content performance. The same was reflected in the growth of key operating metrics like Admits, ATP and SPH,” PVR says in an exchange.

The consolidated revenue from operations surged 53.17% to ₹940.69 crore in Q3 FY23, from ₹614.15 crore in the corresponding period last year. On a sequential basis, the revenue climbed 36.98% from ₹686.72 crore in the September quarter of the current fiscal.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) rose 75.1% YoY to ₹288.8 crore, while margins improved to 30.7% from 26.9% in the year-ago period.

“The performance of the quarter gone by demonstrates the swift recovery in the business as soon as good quality content is made available. After a dismal Q2, it also marks good recovery in box oce collections. With the Regional movies superlative performance continuing across India, it is only a matter of time before the performance of Bollywood movies catches up. We are looking for a significant uptick in box office collections for next fi­scal year and a strong recovery in Bollywood and Hollywood film collections,” says Ajay Bijli, Chairman cum Managing Director, PVR.

As per the company, the third quarter saw Hollywood’s resurgence with the highest grossing movie of the quarter ‘Avatar 2: The Way of Water’ and was supported by movies like ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, and ‘Black Adam’. The dominance of Regional cinema also continued during the quarter with blockbusters like ‘Ponniyin Selvan 1’ and ‘Love Today’. ‘Kantara’, which turned out to be a sleeper hit, was the biggest regional release during the quarter. ‘Drishyam 2’ from Bollywood turned out to be the second biggest movie of the quarter and was supported by content like ‘Vikram Vedha’ and ‘Bhediya’.

Going forward, the company remains optimistic about 2023 and sees this as a promising year for the ­film industry with a signi­cant increase in the number of Hollywood movies as compared to 2022 and rise in big tent pole releases. Three ­movies are lined up for release from both Marvel and DC comics universe. In addition, there are sequels to superhit franchises like Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones, Transformers, and Fast & Furious that will get released during the year. The Hindi ­film industry after a lackluster 2022 is also gearing up for a much stronger 2023 with several big ­movies, including Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan, slated to release in the next 12 months.

Updating on the proposed merger of INOX Leisure with PVR, the firm said that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench, on January 12, 2023, through its verbal order allowed the proposed scheme of amalgamation between the two companies. 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 certi­ed true copy of the order passed by 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,” says Bijli.

In March last year, PVR and INOX Leisure, the country’s largest multiplex chains, had announced a merger to create a network of over 1,500 screens across 109 cities in India. In June, they received ‘no objection’ certificates from the BSE and the NSE, which is mandatory for getting approval from the NCLT and other regulatory approval for the proposed deal. INOX will merge with PVR in a share swap ratio of 3 shares of PVR for every 10 shares of INOX, while the merged entity will be named PVR INOX.

During the year, PVR opened 63 screens across 11 cinemas till date and is on track to open a total of 100-110 new screens by the end of the current fi­scal year.

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