With restrictions easing, PVR expects expansion plans to get back on track

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | Updated on: Feb 04, 2022
Sanjeev Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR

Sanjeev Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR

Expects to open another 23 screens by the end of this fiscal, and 70 in the next fiscal

With pandemic-induced restrictions for the exhibition industry gradually easing across states, leading multiplex chain PVR is looking at getting back to expansion mode.

The company said it expects to open 23 additional screens by the end of this fiscal year. In the next fiscal year, the multiplex chain is further gearing up to add about 70 screens which had got delayed due to pandemic-induced disruptions.

On Friday, the multiplex chain inked an agreement with M3M India to set up a luxury multiplex with 8-screens at the real-estate developer’s upcoming luxurious retail project — the 65 th Avenue in South Gurugram.

Future pipeline

Sanjeev Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR, told BusinessLine, “We have opened 18 screens in the current fiscal year so far. Now, we are hoping to open about 23 additional screens by the end of this fiscal year which are in various stages of fitments. These will be in cities such as Jalandhar, Patiala , Rourkela and Hyderabad.”

“Going forward, we have also got a good pipeline of projects which were delayed due to disruptions. We remain committed to growing the business as there is a huge potential in the country to open new screens. We have a strong pipeline for the next fiscal and, with hopes of not seeing any further disruptions, we expect to open about 70 screens. The focus will be on solidifying our presence in existing markets as well as foraying into new territories. It’s going to be a combination of metros, tier 2 and tier 3 towns,” he added.

In pre-pandemic times, the company typically added about 80-100 screens annually and it hopes to get back to that pace of expansion in the next fiscal year.

Luxury segment

The upcoming eight-screen luxury multiplex in South Gurugram will see formats such as LUXE, 4DX and P(X)L. Talking about the luxury segment , Bijli said the company expects nearly 20 per cent of the new screens to be in the luxury segment in the next few years with the potential to expand beyond metros to smaller cities and towns.

The exhibition industry is gearing up for the release of the new content pipeline from February 11 after witnessing disuprtions due to the third pandemic wave in the country. Hindi movie Badhai Do and Hollywood movies Marry Me, D eath on the Nile and M oonfall are all slated for release on fFebruary 11.

“The success of movies like Pushpa and Spiderman in recent times has clearly shown that consumers are willing to come back to cinemas to watch great content on the big screen. There is a strong line-up of new content. We believe that with two good quarters, we will back to a good position,” Bijli added.

PVR currently operates a cinema circuit comprising 860 screens at 179 properties in 73 cities across India and Sri Lanka.

Published on February 04, 2022
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