Reliance ADAG group firm Adlabs Films owned Big Cinemas will be expanding into Netherlands and Nepal this year. During FY 2009, the theatre division has added 54 screens in India, 165 in US and 63 in Malaysia. It runs 201 in India. From 156 last year, it now has 438 screens and there have been reports of it eyeing troubled theatre house Pyramid Saimira‘s US and Malaysia screens, but there has been no official announcement yet. More on Pyramid Saimira here.
All this expansion and investment has eaten into Adlabs’ profits, bringing consolidated net losses of Rs. 513.7 million over net sales of Rs. 6559.3 million, which has doubled from revenues of Rs. 3059.7 million in FY 08. Last year, Adlabs had generated profits of Rs. 474.7 million. The company said losses rose this year primarily due to its scaling up and high interest rates. Net interest expenses and financing charges was Rs. 636 million, up from Rs. 148.3 million. However, the previous financial period was 9 months, while this was for 12.
Expenses doubled to Rs. 7193 million in FY 09 from Rs. 3055.6 million last fiscal. EPS has dipped sharply from Rs. 11.28 to a negative Rs. 11.33 this year. EBITDA saw an 18% rise to Rs. 682.2 million.
Readers may remember that Adlabs divested Big FM and its network of 45 stations to Reliance Unicom, so the results have not been included in the financials.
Adlabs recorded a standalone net loss of Rs. 297.2 million this year over revenues of Rs. 4800.1 million but expenses shot up to Rs. 5176.3 million from Rs. 2705.2 million in FY08. Standalone EPS shedded value to reach a negative Rs. 6.44 from Rs. 10.9.
Segment Results: Big Cinemas
Big Cinemas saw a consolidated turnover of Rs. 3447.4 million. Its EBIDTA loss was Rs.100 million, compared to a profit of Rs.180 million in FY08. Losses were primarily due to its massive scale up – 282 screens were added during the year across 62 locations, which drained the coffers and will continue to do so as they undergo refurbishment and re-branding. According to an investor presentation dated March, eleven screens will be renovated by October.
Expenses have been written off the books by Big Cinema and the quarter suffered from a diluted interest from the box office.
Film production and distribution turned profitable, with Rs. 321.6 million compared to losses of Rs. 15.9 million in FY08. Revenues rose 52% to Rs. 2116.4 million in fiscal 09.
BIG Synergy, Adlab’s film services business, posted revenues higher by 38% at Rs. 400 million from 2008. Its EBITDA was Rs. 89 million.