South Africa’s largest cinema chain Ster-Kinekor has voluntarily entered business rescue, effective from Wednesday, January 27. The group’s cinemas will remain open throughout the process.

This comes after the group took a major knock due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing them from operating from late March 2020 until the end of August when lockdown restrictions eased enough for them to reopen.

“Up until February 2020, Ster-Kinekor welcomed millions of moviegoers every year to their cinemas. The business was profitable and highly cash generative, with good prospects of future/ongoing profitability from the pipeline of blockbuster film content that had been scheduled,” read a statement from the group, according to Moneyweb.

“The second Covid wave hit South Africa and other countries in December 2020, with further lockdown measures and curfews reintroduced across the cinemas. These factors have meant that Ster-Kinekor has been trading at a loss, as the company continued to incur costs.”

The business is now heading for further operational and cash flow challenges, pushing them towards a voluntary business rescue process. They hope this temporary process will help them recover.

In the meantime, all cinemas will remain open under strict COVID-19 regulations and patrons can still book as normal.

“Moviegoers can continue to book their movie tickets through our website, App or in-store. All cinemas have instituted strict Covid-19 protocols, which mean temperature checks and hand sanitising on arrival and inside the auditoria and mask-wearing as appropriate. Every two seats are kept vacant for social distancing,” said acting CEO Motheo Matsau.

Picture: Ster-Kinekor

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