With coronavirus impact continuing to linger, multiplex chain PVR Ltd on Friday reported net loss of ₹49 crore for the quarter ended 31 December, 2020 as against net profit of ₹36 crore a year ago.
However, the company’s December quarter results have been encouraging considering the net loss narrowed when compared to net loss of ₹184 crore in September quarter.
On Friday, the company’s scrip on NSE closed 2.5% higher at ₹1,473.90.
Revenue from operations declined 95% to ₹45.4 crore as compared to ₹916 crore in year-ago period.
Even as Centre allowed movie theatres to re-open with 50% occupancy, the company said it is yet to re-open 56 screens in 13 cinemas as of 15 January since certain rental negotiations are currently ongoing.
“Discussions with balance (remaining) landlords in progress and expected to close in the near future. We are yet to reopen 56 screens in 13 cinemas, as of January 15, 2021, since certain rental negotiations are currently ongoing with the mall developers, landlords, lessors and partners,” the company added.
The Union Home Ministry issued new guidelines for permitting more activities in areas outside containment zones that include opening up cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15.
“Since then, various states have issued their respective notifications for cinema reopening over October, November and December 2020 permitting cinemas to commence operations in a staggered manner. As on date, except for the state of Rajasthan and Jharkhand, all other states, where PVR has presence, have allowed cinemas to reopen,” the company added.
PVR said even post reopening, the combination of staggered state wide reopening, capacity restrictions and limited movie releases impacted the admit levels while costs continue to be incurred.
To address the situation, PVR said it has further built up on the operational and fiscal steps which include streamlining and re-engineering operations.
PVR said it has also introduced the concept of private screenings, which is a premium and personalised offering wherein a small group of audience hires the entire auditorium to enjoy the content of their choice and no other guests apart from the group members are allowed during that show, thereby reducing the risk of contamination.
Elaborating on the content pipeline, PVR said in view of a staggered reopening across states and restrictions on seating capacity, film producers are being cautious with movie releases.
“As a result, hindi film producers have withheld release of big budget movies and are likely to announce the release dates over the next few weeks with the evolving situation. Although the big budget Bollywood movies are still hesitant, a few low-mid size Bollywood movies, stronger Hollywood and diverse regional content has debuted on our screens,” the company added.
The company said it has ‘reasonable’ liquidity to meet all its debt and interest obligations for next few months.
The multiplex operator said temporary salary cuts are being rolled back in a staggered manner.
The company said settlements have been reached with landlords for 88% of cinemas for complete or partial waiver/discounts for Covid-19 lockdown period.
With PTI inputs