Sri Lanka CT Holdings to build multiplexes, mini-malls
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s CT Holdings Plc is planning to revive defunct single theatres as multiplexes and build mini-malls in several key towns with two-screen threatres.
“Plans will also be drawn up in future to expand the cinemas in Kandy and Negombo (presently closed down) to a multi-screen concept,” Chairman Louis Page told shareholders in the annual report.
C T Holdings is going for the expansion amidst the group’s entertainment segment, which includes the cinema operation and movie distribution businesses, losing 33 million rupees in 2018, down from a net profit of 26 million rupees in 2017.
Page said the company has already converted one of its older single screen cinemas, Regal in Nuwara Eliya into a two-screen multiplex over the past year.
He said the response to the concept has been positive in Nuwara Eliya.
Multiplexes were first developed Canada in the early 20th century as so-called uniscreen theatres faced a downturn, allowing the simultaneous screening of multiple movies or more flexible timings of the same film using the same ticket office and staff.
The concept has taken off, expanding into so-called ‘megaplexes’ with dozens of screens attracting more people.
CT Holdings will also build more ‘mini-malls’ which are made up of a two-screen theatre, a KFC restaurant and a Cargills Food City self-service supermarket, which are group franchises.
The first mini-mall branded ‘Cargills Square’ Gampaha was opened during the previous year.
“The success of this venture has given the Group the confidence to further expand on the Mini Mall concept and take it to other major towns and cities in the country,” Page said.
The report said that the group owns properties in Kandy, Negombo, Bandarawela, Dematagoda and Katubedda which would be used for similar developments.
The group currently operates a Cargills Square in Jaffna, which has related brands as well as third party outlets.
C T Holdings’ biggest mall is Majestic City, which was opened in 1988 and has 240 outlets.
The real estate sector of the group posted 1.1 billion rupees in net profits in the 2018 financial year, up from 200 million rupees a year earlier.
However, this was due to a one-off gain from selling a property in Colombo 02. Excluding the one off gain, segment profits were 132 million rupees in 2018. (COLOMBO, 7 August, 2018)