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Multiplex operator PVR swings to Q3 profit on strong movie runs

India’s top multiplex operator PVR Ltd on Thursday swung to a third-quarter profit as movie-goers thronged theatres to watch Hollywood blockbusters such as “Avatar: The way of water.”

The multiplex industry is recovering from the pandemic-lows on blockbuster releases both in Hollywood and at home. PVR had logged losses in 10 of the 11 previous quarters.

It reported a net profit of 161.5 million rupees ($1.59 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 101.8 million rupees a year ago.

Revenue jumped 53% to 9.41 billion rupees, helped by a recovery in advertisement revenues and a 29% increase in theatre occupancy levels.

“Black Panther – Wakanda Forever” and domestic hits like “Kantara” drew crowds in the quarter.

The company opened 20 screens in the quarter. Its average ticket price grew 16% from the pre-pandemic third quarter of 2020, while average food and beverage spend per head jumped 33%.

The multiplex chain last week got approval from the Mumbai National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to merge the operations of rival INOX Leisure in an all-stock deal, which will make it the country’s largest exhibition company.

“We intend to complete all the formalities within the current financial year,” Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director of PVR, said in a statement.

The company said it is on track to open a total of 100-110 new screens by the end of this fiscal year. Reuters

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