GSC owner optimistic of recovery, targets to introduce 50 new screens


KUALA LUMPUR: PPB Group Bhd (PPB), the owner of Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) is optimistic that lifting of movement controls, relaxation of social restrictions and a strong line-up of movie blockbusters would boost cinema admissions.

In the group’s 2021 annual report filed with Bursa Malaysia today, the group anticipates its film exhibition and distribution segment to deliver better financial results on a year-on-year basis as the recovery momentum picks up in 2022.

PPB managing director Lim Soon Huat said the group has outlined several development plans for the year, such as the GSC Rewards programme to drive admissions as well as retain and attract new cinemagoers while simultaneously building customer loyalty.

"We are launching eight BIG cinema halls to provide a better immersive experience, and opening at least two Happy Food Co outlets during the year.

"GSC also targets to introduce new cinemas in Bintulu, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, with a total of 50 new screens," he said.

In September 2021, GSC completed the acquisition of 18 cinema assets from MCAT Box Office Sdn Bhd and Reel Entertainment Holdings Sdn Bhd, increasing its domestic market share to more than 50 per cent.

The PPB group’s diversified businesses include agribusiness, consumer products, property development, environmental engineering and utilities.

Lim said the group is optimistic that its utilities segment will see a steady recovery in 2022 with the relaxation of social restrictions and recovering markets.

"We now qualify to participate in government tenders as a main contractor for water and sewage projects, and the market has recognised us as a capable infrastructure works contractor, thus opening more opportunities for the group.

"The group’s subsidiary, Chemquest Sdn Bhd (CQ) has tendered for water projects in Malaysia and Brunei worth RM400 million and will continue to focus on opportunities in water, sewage and infrastructure projects," he added.

Last year, CQ completed two water treatment plants in Johor and Sarawak worth RM87 million and secured three water projects in Sarawak, Johor and Kedah worth RM212 million; bringing its order book to a total of RM360 million as of Dec 31, 2021.

As for its investment properties and property development segment, PPB said its Megah Rise residential construction is nearing completion by the second quarter of 2022 (Q2 2022), adding that it is focusing on the retail mall’s scheduled opening in Q4 2022.

"The management is also reviewing potential new developments in Penang and Bedong, Kedah," Lim added.

As for the grains and agribusiness segment, PPB forecasts margin pressures to persist due to the volatile commodity market prices and high freight costs in 2022, noting that the segment experienced a decline due to the unprecedented high raw material costs due to global supply shocks and supply chain disruptions.

"We are committed to optimising operational efficiencies through our group’s extensive grain procurement experience and technical competency to mitigate the impact of rising raw materials and operating costs," he said. - Bernama

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