An investment can be considered in the stock of PVR Ltd, one of the country’s larger multiplex chains. The stock trades at 18 times its estimated financial year 2008 per-share earnings and at about 12-13 times estimated financial year 2009 earnings, assuming conservatively that growth rates will halve from historic levels.
PVR appears quite capable of delivering such growth rates, given its aggressive plans to add screens, its superior track record in execution and a healthy film production pipeline that will ensure steady content supply. It’s own foray into co-production and other businesses also holds promise.
PVR reported a 40 per cent growth in revenues to Rs 116 crore and 80 per cent growth in net profits in the first half of the financial year 2008 A significant driver of margin expansion in recent quarters has been the waiver of entertainment tax for some of its multiplex properties. However, we expect PVR to maintain its margins. With 23 multiplexes or 89 screens under the PVR Cinemas circuit, it is likely to add 37 screens over the next three quarters. It has a particularly strong presence in Delhi and the NCR regions, which means it has access to premium real estate.
Forays into other regions might come at relatively lower rental costs. PVR now claims to account for at least 10 per cent of domestic theatrical revenues. Shorter film runs have resulted in a higher distributor share, but PVR has so far managed to maintain this share at about 30 per cent of gross ticket sales. It also has a favourable revenue mix, with only 60 per cent of its revenues coming from box office sales.
About 20 per cent of its revenue is derived from sale of food and beverages.
The company’s subsidiary PVR Pictures has gained traction in the distribution business. PVR is also foraying into food courts business through a joint venture with the Dabur group.
Use of the joint venture route and the measured pace of expansion into new areas lend confidence. We, however, have not factored in any gains from these businesses.