Television

HDIL Ent gets plex urge

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KOLKATA: HDIL Entertainment, the 100 per cent subsidiary of the Mumbai-based real estate company, Housing Development and Infrastructure (HDIL), plans to have 70 multi-screen plexes pan India in the next couple of years. For setting up the cinema screens, the company has earmarked an investment of Rs 55 crore. The company's multiplexes operate under the brand name - Broadway.

HDIL Broadway CEO Mukesh Gupta is optimistic that both West Bengal plexes

will be operational before Durga Puja

HDIL Entertainment which reported a turnover of Rs 45 crore in the last fiscal of 2012-13, is aiming at notching up Rs 75 crore - Rs 80 crore by the end of the current fiscal 2013-14.

In West Bengal, the company has signed a deal with mall developers for a four-screen plex Broadway at Asansol and three-screen plex at Durgapur.

It is learnt that it will go for a lease agreement with Bengal Shristi for the Duragapur screens. Apart from this, it is looking at Burdwan and central Kolkata for expansion and Guwahati would be the preferred next destination in the eastern region. "Both the West Bengal plexes are slated to be operational before Durga Puja," HDIL Broadway CEO Mukesh Gupta told indiantelevision.com.

"By the month of October 2013, we plan to start 14 screens pan India and the total number of screens would be 35 by this year end. By the end of next year 2014, we are aiming at 70 multi-screen plexes," he highlights.

Of the Rs 55 crore investment needed, Rs 20 crore will be from internal accruals while a bank loan would account for Rs 35 crore, says Gupta.

Broadway has around 14 operational plexes in Mumbai and four each in Kolkata and Indore. "We plan to open four screens at Kolkata, three in Delhi and two more in Mumbai by the end of the year," the CEO says.

It is interesting to note that two years ago the company planned to open around 120 multi-screen plexes by 2016 using the ownership model at an investment of Rs 450-500 crore. "Seeing the slow growth and not so conducive economic sentiment, we are looking at 120 screens in next three years to four years on a lease basis," explains Gupta.

HDIL Broadway has a four- screen multiplex, spread over 30,000 square feet and with a sitting capacity of 799 people in the city of Kolkata at present. Tickets are priced between Rs 150-Rs 200.

Talking about the occupancy rate in Kolkata, he said the average occupancy rate is 48-52 per cent while "there are days like last week when the cinema halls were flooded with good movies, it was around 78 per cent also," he says.

"We have capitalised on the Salt Lake late-night movie-watching crowd and also the EM Bypass, Phoolbagan and Kankurgachi cinegoers in Kolkata," reveals Gupta.

Without giving much detail, Gupta said Broadway would soon open in central Kolkata.

HDIL Entertainment is keen to tap the south market also for Broadway expansion, says Gupta.

HDIL, the parent of HDIL Entertainment, was in the news recently for not paying interest arrears on a loan taken by it from Indiabulls Housing Finance, which it later paid up. Its share price dropped on the bad press.

After a long consolidation of one and a half years, the HDIL share price broke out of the range, says Dhanpurna Commodities research head Puneet Rathi. "Falling below Rs 100 levels in January 2013, reflect a continuation of down trend in stock. After touching a bottom of Rs 26.1 on 6 August 2013 it bounced back on low volume," he said.

It is currently trading in the Rs 30 plus range.

On Wednesday afternoon, the scrip was trading at Rs 32.85, up 0.61 per cent.

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