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Multiplexes may recover only in FY23: Crisil

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Localised lockdowns and night curfews amid the newer wave of COVID-19 is set to extract a toll on multiplexes in the country, and companies in this sector will report operating losses for the second consecutive year, a report by domestic credit rating agency Crisil has said.

The sector, arguably one of the worst impacted in the pandemic, can look at a recovery only in the next financial year, Crisil said.

“Multiplexes are set to log operating losses for the second straight fiscal as localised lockdowns, night curfews and other restrictions to contain the resurgence of coronavirus infections will keep occupancies low for the next few months,” the agency said.

The agency said its base case scenario assumes an average occupancy of 10-12 per cent in the first half of this fiscal and 20-22 per cent in the second half, once the restrictions on occupancy and fear of infection recedes. “A full recovery is seen only in fiscal 2023,” it added.

PTI quoted Crisil director Nitesh Jain said the lockdown-like measures in states like Maharashtra will push back new film releases, at least the big-ticket ones, to the second quarter of the fiscal as the state alone accounts for a fifth of the business nationally.

The agency said operators rated by it, which account for half of the industry revenue, are expected to log losses in 2021-22 as well, after bleeding Rs 900 crore in 2020-21.