With the merger of rival Inox Leisure, leading multiplex operator PVR is focusing on “getting economies of scale” and anticipates a double-digit increase in its top line in FY24, according to managing director Ajay Bijli.
According to him, PVR is attempting to find ways to save costs while increasing revenue from ticket sales, food and beverage sales, advertising, and operating expenses. He also mentioned that the merged entity has ambitions to add 200 screens annually and take advantage of smaller markets.
“If you look property by property, in certain places there are disparities in the ticket price. There are opportunities for improving programming, and scheduling the peak-hour ticket pricing,” Bijli told PTI.
Also, he added, some of the properties will need to be upgraded.
“We both are operating in the same environment and look at the demographics in a similar way. But whatever tweaking needs to be done for both brands to give a consistent experience, we are working on it,” Bijli added.
When asked about the top-line growth of the merged company in FY24, Bijli expected double-digit growth.
“In calendar year 2019 which was normal year of operations pre-pandemic, PVR and Inox recorded a combined turnover of about Rs 5,600 crore. We are adding about 200 screens every year with a capex of about Rs 700-750 crore,” he stated.
PVR and Inox Leisure have merged as of February 6, 2023.
“We felt that coming together would make the balance sheet stronger and this business is all about scale… I truly believed that if we have not come together, there would have been a problem in growth, and we will grow together,” he said.
Inox, which previously solely served vegetarian meals, will now offer non-vegetarian options after the merger, which may increase the ATP (Average Ticket Price).
“Advertising is another area, where the minutes on the screen, which we were charging can be taken up,” he said.
Bijli says that he is more interested in the revenue from the movie than the ticket price multiplied by the number of people attending.
Getting more people inside is more important to us than looking at ticket prices, he said.
Bijli stated that the joint entity PVR Inox would employ 23,000 people and operate in 113 cities in relation to the cost of operation.
After the merger, Inox Leisure would no longer exist, and Bijli would serve as managing director of the combined company, PVR Inox.
On Wednesday, PVR announced the opening of an 11-screen “superplex” in Lucknow at Lulu Mall, the largest shopping mall in the city, following the merger with Inox.
There will be seven auditoriums with last-row recliners in addition to the multi-sensory 4DX format, premium large screen format P[XL], two auditoriums of PVR’s luxury format, LUXE, and all other formats.
After this, PVR’s presence in Uttar Pradesh, where it has 158 screens across 32 locations, strengthens the combined entity’s presence in the region, where it has 438 screens across 100 properties.
The merged company has opened 143 screens across 26 locations in 21 cities in the current fiscal year.