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Cathay Cineplexes owner mm2 Asia posts H1 net loss as virus shutters movie theatres

MAINBOARD-LISTED entertainment group mm2 Asia, which owns Cathay Cineplexes, sank into the red in the first six months, on losses in the cinema and events businesses. (see amendment note)

mm2 posted a net loss of S$22.4 million for the half-year to Sept 30, against a net profit of S$9.18 million in the year-ago period, according to unaudited results out on Saturday.

This comes as revenue fell by 83 per cent year on year to S$19.9 million, crimped by safe-management measures that limited operations in the core businesses.

Cinema contributions shrank to just S$3.6 million, from S$49.5 million before, as the segment clocked a pre-tax loss of S$16.5 million.

Turnover from live concerts and events fell to S$1.1 million, from S$45.9 million, with a pre-tax loss of S$3.9 million.

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Loss per share was 1.93 Singapore cents, against earnings per share of 0.79 Singapore cent previously. Net asset value dipped to S$0.17 a share, from S$0.19 as at March 31.

No dividend was recommended for the half-year, with mm2 saying that it plans to conserve cash "for expansion and other business opportunities".

Still, the group said in its outlook statement that it expects a shift towards "favourable conditions" in the markets of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"We believe that once the Covid-19 situation improves, we will make a strong comeback quickly," said executive chairman Melvin Ang, adding: "The worst is now behind us."

He noted that mm2 released movies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia in July, and has launched on-demand streaming service Cathay CineHome to complement the cinema business, among other recent moves.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that mm2 Asia is listed on Catalist. The company transferred its listing to the mainboard in 2017.

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