By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- CJ CGV, South Korea's largest multiplex operator, said Wednesday it will offer diversified entertainment content at its theaters and expand premium screens to boost revenue and foster new growth drivers.
CGV said it is on a modest recovery path following three years of losses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting 795.3 billion won (US$602 million) in sales and 1.7 billion won of operating profits in the first half of this year.
"CGV turned to operating profits for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of this year, seeing the light at the end of a long dark tunnel," CJ CGV CEO Heo Min-hoi said during 2023 CGV Movie Industry Media Forum.
"Based on the recovery in the first half, we expect the number of audience to recover to 74 percent in the second half of this year from a year earlier and achieve operating profits equivalent to the 2019 level," he added.
Local theaters sold 58.39 million tickets in the first half, up 130 percent from a year earlier and about 70 percent of the average recorded during the same period of 2017-2019, according to CGV.
As the pandemic has changed the consumer trend, Heo said the company will expand premium screens, alternative content in various genres, including concerts, musicals, opera, sports and games, and lifestyle content, such as indoor climbing gyms and golf courses, at its theaters.
"We will offer lifestyle content in CGV's space to allow visitors to enjoy various menu items and things to do within the multiplex," Hoe said. "We will present a new paradigm for the theater industry by transforming into a lifestyle space platform that offers hands-on experiences."
To enhance the financial structure and its credit ratings, the CEO said the company will finalize the ongoing capital expansion process by early October.
In June, CGV announced plans to secure about 1 trillion won of funds through 570 billion won of paid-in capital increase and allocation of 450 billion won worth of its shares in CJ OliveNetworks to CGV via a stock swap deal.
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