SRS Cinemas, the cinema exhibition vertical of business conglomerate SRS Group, will be expanding operations into the south and east zones of the country.
The film exhibition company already has 57 screens in north India across 15 cities. The plan is to reach 100 screens by the end of 2016.
For the expansion, the firm will infuse Rs 45-60 crore seed investments to set up new properties in the urban and semi urban areas of South and East zones with a special focus on Tier-3 and Tier-4 cities.
At present, the brand has 20 properties at strategic locations, with 57 screens and 14,750 seats. The focus on Tier-2, 3 and 4 markets is part of the company’s strategy for growth.
Since there is a lot of clutter in the urban territories, exhibition houses are looking keenly at the non-metro markets.
Tinku Singh, group president and chief strategy officer at SRS Group, says, “The current phase of expansion will help fill up the vast chasm between demand and supply.
These markets also show good pick-up for regional movies and so, there is better scope of innovating in the programming of the screens.”
In the quarter ended September, the cinema business generated revenue of Rs 31 crore, profit after tax of Rs 5.14 crore. Singh sees this grow significantly as the company expands. SRS Limited has three other verticals that generate revenue — gold & jewellery, retail, and corporate.
Currently, cinema is the third largest contributor and Singh expects its contribution to go up once the total number of screens in the country under SRS touches 150.
Singh said the company would evaluate opportunities to acquire a local multiplex chain each in its focus territories. There are only 10 screens in India for a million citizens. In China, the figure is 27 per million.
At present, India has about 2,100 multiplex screens.
SRS has a strong hold in the North with cinema halls in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Bhiwadi, Allahabad, Bijnor, Gorakhpur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Shimla, Lucknow, Agra, Hajipur and Saharanpur.