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Q4 09: Pyramid Saimira Posts YoY Losses Of Rs. 1.37B; Animation & Gaming Writeoff; Four Screens Shut

During the quarter, theatre chain owner Pyramid Saimira did not distribute any movies and though marketing was slightly profitable, operations were beset with collection delays. Its US subsidiary made losses while its Malaysian subsidiary Pyramid Saimira Theatre Chain Sdn Bhd (the official blog is here) was profitable. Following its reorganisation and de-risking steps, PSTL now has shut down four more screens in the quarter, bringing its total to 248 screens. In Q2 09, the theatre chain owned 745 screens. Occupancy rates have dropped to 32.35% from 38% last quarter. Average revenue per footfall (or user) is higher at Rs. 47.86 from Rs. 41.93 in Q3 09. In the quarter, 169 lakh tickets were sold. The company struggled with financial paralysis as the Income Tax department had attached its bank accounts, but these were lifted earlier this month. It has announced it is extending its financial year to 15 months, up to June 30, 2009 and there will be a Q5. Subsidiaries Suffer; No Sale? Pyramid has written off investments in its DTH business in Europe and UK-based animation and console game developer Aurona Technologies due to their poor performances. The DTH subsidiary had not sustained its business operations and suffered serious losses due to the recession's effect on purchasing power in Europe. Aurona being an outsourcing provider of game development was affected by pound depreciation. PSTL has been ready to sell its overseas subsidiaries, especially those it perceives to be non-core to its flagship theatre business. The group runs film,…

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