Mumbai: As long as there are no new pandemic-induced restrictions that would affect business operations, UFO Moviez founder and managing director Sanjau Gaikwad is optimistic that the company will soon return to the pre-pandemic level.
Addressing shareholders in the annual report, he said that during the year, as a proactive measure amidst the second wave, the company raised equity funds to the tune of Rs 96.82 crore. It was primarily done to address any unforeseen events due to any further Covid-induced restrictions and to help the core business meet its immediate capital requirements as soon as the movies begin to release following the pandemic. The fundraising, he explains, has given the company a strong financial foothold. "We will prudently utilise these funds for business expansion and any short-term capital requirements until our core business regains normalcy."
He noted that the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions continued to affect the business in FY22 as well. This, he explains, was due to the absence of big-budget releases during the first seven months of FY22, which was led by the closure of cinemas in most of the States due to the second wave of Covid.
“The release of big-budget movies began only in November '21 and continued thereafter. However, the widespread of the third wave of Covid-19 at the very beginning of January '22 and subsequent restrictions led to another two months' impact on the business operations as movies only started to be released again towards the end of February’22. As a result of the two lockdowns due to the second and third waves of Covid-19, the overall recovery in the business has remained subdued in FY22. However, as a result of a steady flow of releases in recent months and the strong support of movie-goers, theatrical revenues have rebounded swiftly while advertising revenue is gradually improving. This is expected to continue in FY23 subject to no further pandemic-induced restrictions.”
The company's AGM will take place on 23 August 2022.