In 2019, Wanda Pictures led or participated in the production and distribution of a total of 25 films, including The Bravest. Credit: Handout.

You’ve probably heard the show business expression, “The show must go on!”

In the case of Wanda Film Group, it will go on, despite significant financial losses.

China’s biggest film company is struggling with a huge loss in 2019, according to its annual report, yet it still plans to build new cinemas this year though the Covid-19 epidemic has shut down all entertainment facilities, china.org.cn reported.

The company achieved a revenue of 15.435 billion yuan in 2019, down 5.23% year-on-year; the net profit attributable to shareholders of the listed company was actually a loss of 4.73 billion yuan (US$668 million), a fall of 324.87% year-on-year, the report said.

The net cash flow generated from operating activities was 1.89 billion yuan, down 13.56% from 2018.

At the end of the reporting period, Wanda Film Group’s total assets totaled 26.49 billion yuan, net assets attributable to shareholders of the listed company were set at 13.83 billion yuan, the report said.

One of the most important events in 2019 was to acquire a 95.7683% stake in Wanda Pictures valued at 10.52 billion yuan, in order to implement the latter’s restructuring.

However, judging from the 2019 annual report, the performance of Wanda Pictures after consolidation of accounts fell below expectations, the report said.

In 2019, Wanda Pictures led or participated in the production and distribution of a total of 25 films, including “The Crossing”, “Sheep Without a Shepherd”, “Boonie Bears: Blast into the Past”, “The Bravest” to “My People My Country.”

However, during the reporting period, the number of films in which it was the major investor and thus controlled was relatively small, and the box office performance in some cases did not meet expectations, so the related business revenue and profits fell significantly year-on-year.

Nevertheless, the Group’s Wanda Cinema Line will continue to build more cinemas.

Along with Wanda Film’s 2019 annual report, there is also an announcement of its non-public offering of A-shares, the report said.

The announcement said Wanda Film Group intended to issue A-shares to no more than 35 specifically-targeted investors, and the total amount of funds raised would not exceed 4.35 billion yuan, of which it is planned to invest about 3.05 billion yuan in new cinema projects.

Specifically, the cities chosen as sites for the new cinemas include Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. According to the future development goals of Wanda Film Group, it plans to build 162 new cinemas from 2020 to 2022, with a total of 1,258 screens, the report said

Statistics show that, in 2019, Wanda Film Group established 73 new cinemas across the country, raising the number of domestic cinemas it owns to over 600.

As of the end of 2019, the company has put 349 IMAX screens and 45 Dolby theaters into operation. In 2019, the company’s own cinemas’ cumulative box office total took over 13.3% share of the Chinese film market.

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