Leading multiplex player, PVR INOX, is on track to open 160-170 screens by the end of this fiscal. The company added 29 new screens during the third quarter and 97 new screens in the first nine months of this fiscal.

Nitin Sood, Chief Financial Officer, PVR INOX, told businessline, “We have several large projects in the pipeline. This includes a nine screen project in Ahmedabad, 14 screens each in Bengaluru and Pune, besides nine screens in Kochi. We also have other smaller projects. So we are on track to open 160-170 screens in FY24.”

In a bid to focus on profitable expansion, the company also exited 62 underperforming screens during the first nine months of the fiscal. Overall, the company expects to exit 77 screens in FY24, as per an investor presentation.

The company posted a consolidated net profit of ₹12.8 crore in the third quarter of FY24, down 20 per cent, compared with ₹16.1 crore in the corresponding period last year. Consolidated revenue from operations stood at ₹1,546 crore, up 64.46 per cent. Currently, the company operates 1,712 screens in 360 cinemas across 113 cities in India and Sri Lanka.

Sood pointed out that the first half of the quarter was muted due to the Cricket World Cup. “December emerged as the highest grossing month due to strong performance of films released during the month,” he added. Movies such as Animal,Salaar and Dunki raked in strong numbers in December.

“It was also heartening to see that the Indian market has been the sole major market worldwide to surpass pre-pandemic levels in terms of gross collections in 2023,” he said.

Responding to a query on footfalls of the industry being lower than pre-pandemic levels, Sood said, “October and November were very slow and December was a strong month. So we are seeing gaps in movie releases. We suddenly see some very big months and then some low months. Volatility has definitely increased. For us too, footfalls in the third quarter were lower by 2 per cent compared to the third quarter in the last fiscal.”

The company said that going forward it is optimistic about the compelling content line-up across all languages. “We are happy to update that the integration process has been moving along well and producing significant operational savings,” it added.