Major Cineplex allots B5.2bn for expansion

Major Cineplex allots B5.2bn for expansion

Revenue projection set at B15bn for 2020

Major Cineplex Group Plc, the country's largest cinema operator, projects its revenue will reach 15 billion baht in 2020 when it expects to operate 1,000 screens in Thailand and abroad.

Company chairman Vicha Poolvaraluck said the SET-listed cinema chain set a 5.2-billion-baht investment budget to add 500 new screens, bringing the total to 1,000 by 2020.

Vicha: Provinces the key growth driver

Of the total budget, 4 billion baht will be spent to open 400 new screens in Thailand over the next five years, while 1.2 billion is for 100 new screens in potential overseas markets including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Major has seven cinemas in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It partnered with Platinum Cineplex, a leading Cambodian operator, to set up a joint venture called Major Platinum Cambodia to run cinemas under the Major Cineplex brand there.

"We see a lot of potential to grow in both Thailand and neighbouring countries. If we achieve the 1,000-screen target, the revenue contribution from overseas operations will rise to 10%, up from only 3%," he said.

Despite the potential for the region, Mr Vicha lamented the short supply of modern cinema.

Major's main domestic growth driver the next five years will be in the provinces, as new branches open there at new malls, he said.

Cinema growth in the provinces should also help the Thai film industry, as Thai movies are popular among rural people, said Mr Vicha.

Thailand still has large room to grow the cinema business when compared with South Korea. Last year, more than 200 million movie tickets were sold in South Korea at 2,000 screens.

Thailand had around 800 standardised screens last year and sold 40 million movie tickets.

Mr Vicha said the company aimed to have a presence in every province in the future.

In the first nine months of this year, the cinema chain posted a net profit of 879 million baht on revenue totalling 6.9 billion baht. By the year-end, it expects to generate 8.4 billion baht in revenue from 520 screens in 77 branches nationwide.

Next year, Major Cineplex will spend 1.5 billion baht to add 80 new screens, bringing the total to 600. With brighter economic prospects in 2015, the company is confident it can meet its revenue and net profit growth projection of 15-20%. Major's revenue is projected to reach 10 billion baht.

Many popular box office films from Hollywood are lining up to premier next year including The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Fast & the Furious 7, Men of Steel 2: Superman/Batman, Fantastic Four Reboot, Terminator: Genisys, James Bond 24, Mission Impossible 5, Jurassic World, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II. More than 50 Thai films will be introduced.

MAJOR shares closed yesterday on the SET at 26 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 70.8 million baht.  

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