Major adjusts strategy for H2
SET-listed Major Cineplex Group's net profit has been heavily impacted this year as 40 of its movie theatres remain closed in Bangkok, causing losses of 120 million baht in the first quarter, compared with a net loss of 225 million baht in the same period last year.
The theatre chain lost 527 million baht in the whole of 2020, compared to 1.17 billion baht in net profits in 2019.
The company is also expected to lose money in the second quarter, however, it is banking on a recovery in the second half of the year with the lifting of restrictions.
In the second half of the year, over 30 blockbuster movies from Hollywood, China, Japan and Korea are expected to be released and generate interest in Thailand, said Narute Jiensnong, chief marketing officer of Major.
The company has adjusted its strategy to increase revenue and reduce operating costs in the second half by increasing the number of kiosk branches in the Bangkok area to sell food and beverages popular among customers such as popcorn.
Major also plans to distribute about 30 self-produced Thai movies to Laos and Cambodia.
Major will also add more automated movie ticket boxes nationwide and increase the number of payment partners to increase e-payment ticketing options, Mr Narute said.
The company is currently negotiating with several e-payment operators (e-wallets) to increase the number of ticket booking channels from three partners currently.
Major is aiming to make the movie ticket booking process entirely cashless by the end of 2022 through various channels like M Cash cards, e-tickets, e-wallets and offline systems through automated ticketing machines. Meanwhile, employees will be reassigned to other tasks such as selling food.
He said Major's M Cash card, an e-wallet for ticket payments, accounted for about 100 million baht in cash deposited, considered the highest value of a closed host wallet in Thailand.
The company plans to release new types of M Cash cards in the second half of the year like the M Generation Next card that can buy movie tickets along with other products.
"The cinema business is not dead even though Covid-19 has been spreading for more than a year. We are ready to continue adapting business strategies for these changing times," Mr Narute said.
He said the pandemic situation in the United States has declined, allowing the country to produce and release movies this year. Moreover, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean movies have grown in popularity in Thailand, so the company plans to showcase about 20 movies from these countries in the second half of the year.
The company expects movie theatres in Bangkok and its vicinity to resume operations in the second half of the year, while more than 50 provinces can still screen films in theatres presently.