PPB set to ride on film blockbusters, tap regional markets
KUALA LUMPUR: PPB Group Bhd, which has a RM20 billion market capitalisation, expects a rebound this year for its film exhibition and distribution division that would help earnings growth in the future.
Its film exhibition and distribution arm, GSC Screen Cinemas chief executive Koh Mei Lee said the strategy is to ride on upcoming blockbuster movies and tap growing markets in Southeast Asia.
“This year would be better compared with last year for GSC. The line-up of films is expected to be stronger this year with a continuous release of blockbusters,” she said.
Koh said the company was looking to expand into potential markets in Southeast Asia, particularly Indochina, through strategic partnerships and acquisitions and further grow cinema operations’ earnings base by venturing into complimentary businesses.
“In Indochina, we are targeting to open six new cinemas with 37 screens in Vietnam and nine screes in Cambodia to tap,” she said.
Koh said Vietnam market is under-served although it has more than 90 million population while Malaysia has only 30 million plus.
Meanwhile, the company is also opening more local cinemas to boost the group’s total earnings growth.
Koh said GSC will open three new cinemas, namely MyTown Shopping Centre (Cheras), Melawati Mall (Melawati) and Paradigm Mall (Johor Baru).
It was reported RM215 million of its capital expenditure would be used to expand its film exhibition and distribution arm.
Last year, the group’s earnings were dragged down by its consumer products and film exhibition and distribution divisions.
The film division registered a lower net profit of RM59 million last year, from RM65.6 million a year ago.
PPB Group managing director Lim Soon Huat said grains and agribusiness would continue to help sustain the group’s performance this year.
”We are confident of maintaining our market leading position despite intense competition in the flour markets in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
”The completion of our mills in Pasir Gudang, Johor, and Ba Ria Vung Tau, Vietnam, would enhance our performance,” he said.
Its grains and agribusiness contributed significantly to the company’s bottom line last year and beat analysts’ expectation.
A larger selling volume base this year would give a further upside to the group’s earnings, said an analyst. Amir Hisyam Rasid
(From left) Chemquest Sdn Bhd managing director Leong Yew Weng, GSC Screen Cinemas chief executive Koh Mei Lee, PPB Group executive director Datuk Ong Hung Hock, PPB Group chairman Tan Sri Oh Siew Nam, PPB Group managing director Lim Soon Huat, PPB Group chief financial officer Leong Choy Ying, PPB Group (properties) chief operating officer Chew Hwei Yeow and company secretary Mah Teck Keong after the company’s annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.