I write this letter with a sense of pride and joy to be a part of the PVR family. Ithas been a remarkable year for your Company and I am not just talking about the strongfinancial performance but also the way we organically expanded built cinemas innovatedand never lost sight of quality.
The year under review was far from normal for the media and entertainment (M&E)industry. Structural changes like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have had an impact onus. Gearing up for the GST was a daunting task; however the teething troubles weresurmounted and we ensured that all issues which may impact our customers and business aredealt with. I do hope that the reform measures rolled out by the government will transformthe investment landscape of India and trigger growth.
Despite the economic changes we continued to make remarkable progress aroundtechnology. We launched the PVR Privilege programme which is India's first fully digitalcinema loyalty programme. This strategic move has enhanced the movie-going experience forour valued guests and we are rapidly gaining new customers besides making the experienceeven more rewarding for our existing guests. We are targeting a brisk growth for the PVRPrivilege programme over the next two years.
Keeping our legacy of innovations going PVR Cinemas introduced its first Premium ExtraLarge P[XL] screen our homegrown big movie screen format. The P[XL] auditoriums featureextra-large wall-to-wall screen state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos moving sound technology andDual 4K projection system with customised 3D glasses to bring alive every little detail ofa film. As you know I firmly believe that innovation is critical for the consumer isalways looking for something new. And we have always delivered on that front whetherit's the on-screen experience at PVR Director's Cut or installing ticketing ATMs orintroducing technical advancements like IMAX or Enhanced Cinema Experience (ECX) at ourmultiplexes your Company has set the bar high when it comes to improvements and quality.
Moving on to other exciting achievements this year. Your Company entertained 7.6 crorespatrons in its cinemas up by 1.20% compared to the previous year; revenue has increasedby 8% from ` 2182 crores to ` 2365 crores; net box office revenue grew by 11% food andbeverage revenue showed a growth of 8% and sponsorship income showed a rise of 18%vis--vis previous year.
We continued to follow an aggressive expansion plan. The Company added 49 screensexpanding the network to 625 screens spread over 134 properties in 51 cities across thecountry.
During the year your Company picked up a minority stake in the US-based iPic-GoldClass Entertainment a luxury restaurant-and-theatre Company with 121 screens. We areviewing this as an R&D investment and believe that some of the learning from thisunique investment opportunity can be replicated in context of the Indian market.
Your Company completed the sale of stake in bluO PVR's bowling & entertainment JVin line with our strategy to divest non-core assets.
We deeply value our employees' engagement and their commitment to our culture ofinnovation and performance accountability. With a great executive team in place and withthe help of our awesome colleagues we are really making strides in achieving ourstrategic goal of transforming our service offerings and increasing our market share inthe sector. Of course the restlessness never ends.
Our journey will continue to be about growth expansion and integration. Thank you forbeing a part of the PVR family. We draw our strength from your support.
Chairman and Managing Director