Millennium Post

Mexican Cinepolis to invest Rs 800 crore in India in next 6 years

Mexican multiplex operator Cinepolis plans to invest around Rs 800 crore in India over the next six years and targeting to have up to 600 screens. The company, which presently has 269 screens in India, is targeting metro markets as well as tier II and III cities for its expansion in India.

"We will invest Rs 800 crore in the next six years. We invest Rs 2.5 crore per screen...We will reach 600 screens by 2022," Cinepolis India Managing Director Javier Sotomayor said. Cinepolis, which had last week acquired DLF's DT Cinemas, has added over 180 screens in last two years. In terms of revenue, he said that the aim is to double it from the current position, without disclosing any details over both organic as well as inorganic growth strategy.

"Cinepolis as one of those players which will continue to be in the market in a leading position. We will be one of the top 3 or top 2 players in the market after 3-4 years," Sotomayor said. "If I have to go back to September 2014, we had around 80 screens. In last 24 months, we have reached 269 screens. We have grown at a pace of three times in 24 months...It started in November 2014 with acquisition of Fun Cinemas," he said. The company had opened its first multiplex in India in 2007 and achieved break even in 2012. On footfalls, he said at present Cinepolis clocks over three crore annually and is expecting it to be around eight crore by 2022. When asked about future acquisitions, Sotomayor said: "If any other opportunity comes in future to grow inorganically, we will look at it. If it makes sense... we will go through it".

According to him, in future the exhibition market would consolidate and only three to four big players would remain in the business. "I think the industry will keep on consolidating. I believe that the regional players or small players will eventually be interested in exiting and selling to the 3-4 players which are remaining in the market," Sotomayor added.

Cinepolis would continue to add screen in metro markets as well as tier II & III cities. "We will continue to expand in Tier I, II & III markets. I will not agree that metros are saturated. Metros have cinemas but not enough," he said. When asked whether it would adopt a different strategy for the price sensitive non-metro markets, Sotomayor said: "The strategy in tier III places will be same as tier I & II cities. We will offer the same products in tier III as we offer in Tier I & II." 

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