PVR hopeful that vaccine drive will be game-changer; can sustain the next few quarters

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PVR posted a loss of Rs 290 crore and its revenues were down over 70 percent in Q4FY21, on account of COVID. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Nitin Sood, CFO, PVR, discussed the performance. “The most important thing for us is the vaccination drive. There is no doubt that people will come back to cinemas, and business will bounce back, once that happens,” said Bijli.

PVR posted a loss of Rs 290 crore and its revenues were down over 70 percent in Q4FY21, on account of COVID. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Nitin Sood, CFO, PVR, discussed the performance. “The most important thing for us is the vaccination drive. There is no doubt that people will come back to cinemas, and business will bounce back, once that happens,” said Bijli.
“We have shored up liquidity, we did a QIP of Rs 800 crore, and we did rights issue of Rs 300 crore last year. We raised debt as well and controlled our expenses quite dramatically. That has given us enough sustenance to be able to sail through the second wave, and a third wave as well if there is one. We have tried to manage our finances and funds in such a manner that we are able to sustain this onslaught on our business,” Bijli added.
“In addition to that, we have got some support from the government in the recently announced ECLGS scheme. From our balance sheet cash flow perspective, we are quite well funded and we have the ability to sail through the next several months if this situation continues,” Sood explained.
When asked if he is worried about not seeing a sea of people coming back to cinemas post lockdown, Bijli replied, “The US and the UK are two markets that have shown that people have a huge appetite to come back. My worry is not about people going out because all of us are not designed to be at home. India is a very heterogeneous market.”
According to Bijli, vaccine is the need of the hour. “Vaccination is the key which will bring everything, all the confidence level back,” he shared.
On reducing costs, Sood explained, “Last year, as we went into the pandemic, the big focus was to reduce cost. On our employee base, the organisation did manpower rationalisation and we also took temporary salary cuts as business was completely shut. We brought down that cost to almost 45 percent. These measures continue. We have the ability to manage our costs in tough times. We are hoping that we will continue to do that till the time business resumes.”
“Top five cities contribute 70 percent of our revenues, so once the big cities get vaccinated and film releases begin again, the bounce-back will be pretty quick for us,” Sood further added.
For the entire conversation, watch the accompanying video.

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