(Reuters) - India's top multiplex operator PVR Ltd on Monday reported a bigger-than-expected second quarter loss, as lacklustre Bollywood and Hollywood movie performances drew fewer crowds, hitting ticket prices.
PVR's consolidated net loss for the quarter ended September narrowed to 712.3 million rupees ($8.64 million) from 1.53 billion rupees in the pandemic-hit period a year ago, but was bigger than analysts' expectations for a loss of 99.2 million rupees, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Admissions and average ticket price during the quarter were impacted by the weak performance of Bollywood and Hollywood movies, PVR said in an exchange filing.
"I am confident of full recovery in the business driven by the robust content lineup for this year and the various initiatives that we are implementing to rekindle the cinema going habit amongst our loyal patrons," said Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director of PVR.
The multiplex chain is set to merge with rival INOX Leisure in an all-stock deal and become the country's largest exhibition company with 1,546 screens across 109 cities.
As the country inches towards normalcy after a prolonged period of pandemic, production houses have now started going with "theatre only" releases banking on top celebrities.
Further, the shrinking losses underscore the gradual recovery in movie business after the devastating Covid pandemic that lasted for more than two years.
The multiplex operator, in its previous quarter, revived its capex plans in a significant manner and laid out a plan to open 125 new screens this fiscal year.
Revenue from operations jumped 470.7% on year to 6.87 billion rupees, but slumped 30% from the previous quarter.