pyramid-saimiraDuring 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, hospitality, IPTV, DTH, realty, food and beverage and cine advertising businesses .

However, there has been no announcement yet on Aurona’s buyer. The studio has delivered games for Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft XBOX, most recently it launched a game for Sony PS2 in Indian called Hanuman: Boy Warrior. Our review of it is here.

Details: Financials

Quarterly Results

Pyramid registered a net loss of Rs. 853.72 million in Q4 09, with income from exhibition logging Rs. 590.93 million and revenues from food and beverages at Rs. 215.97 million. Expenses totalled Rs. 685.9  million with depreciations including amortisations of Rs. 45.32 million.

Basic EPS after extraordinary items registered at a negative Rs. 30.19.

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A PSTL theatre in South India. Photo Courtesy: PSTL

For the quarter, exhibition segment posted net profits of Rs. 14.65 million over revenues of Rs. 590.9 million. Food and beverages made a profit of Rs. 61 million on income of Rs. 215.9 million.

Year on Year Results

Pyramid Saimira’s other income tanked by 94.5% to Rs. 583.26 during the fiscal year ending March, 2009 compared to FY08. It raked up net losses of Rs. 1.37 billion, while it had made Rs. 578.73 million in profits last year. The company has placed losses of Rs. 1,757.82 million as extraordinary items.

Income from exhibitions dropped by 4% compared to FY 08 to Rs. 5242.56 million. A similar, minor, difference in beverages and food revenues at Rs. 1967.88 million. Costs were also similar to the previous year, with a 2.4% rise to Rs. 6,622.17 million. Basic EPS stood at negative Rs. 48.77 while it was Rs. 20.47 last fiscal.

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