By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
SF CORPORATION, an operator of multiplex theatres, is conducting a feasibility study of the CLMV market (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) for its first expansion outside Thailand.
The company will take another year or two to study the market.
Chief executive officer Suwat Thongrompo said the company would next year invest between Bt600 million and Bt700 million to set up new cinemas in six or seven locations in the Kingdom. These include Robinson Lifestyle Center Lopburi, CentralPlaza Nakhon Si Thammarat, CentralPlaza Nakhon Ratchasima, Terminal 21 Korat, and one or two locations in Bangkok.
“We intend to expand our cinemas into the CLMV market. However, the market needs time to be more mature,” said Suwat, adding that the CLMV market was quite free of competition in the cinema business.
“I believe that once the Asean Economic Community is effective at the end of this year, the CLMV market will reach the mature stage in the next one or two years. Thailand’s political stability and the government’s measure to promote special economic zones will make the investment picture clearer,” he said.
Suwat said he believed in the great potential of the CLMV market.
“I believe that it is not difficult to educate people to go to the cinema, as driven by many Hollywood blockbusters. In addition, Thai movies are quite popular among CLMV people.
“Our expansion into CLMV will also rely on doing deals with mall developers, both local and international, such as those from China, that have developed property projects in CLMV.
SF Corporation yesterday officially opened its 45th cinema location at Robinson Lifestyle Center Srisamarn in Nonthaburi at a cost of Bt130 million. Consisting of six theatres with combined seats of 1,072, the cinema complex is expected to break even within four years.
“We opened our cinema complex at Robinson Lifestyle Center Buriram in the middle of this year. We also plan to open two more locations this year at the Crystal shopping mall on Praditmanutham Road and in Mae Sot district in Tak,” Suwat said.
He said the company expected to increase its sales revenue by 10-15 per cent to Bt4 billion this year, of which 80 per cent would be from movie tickets, driven by major Hollywood films such as “Fast and Furious 7”, “Jurassic World”, “Spectre”, “Mockingjay Part 2” and “Star Wars”. These franchised films are quite popular among moviegoers in Thailand and Asean.