Cable TV

Q1-2016: Ortel PAT at Rs 2.44 crore; on track for 1 million RGUs target

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BENGALURU: The Bibhu Prasad Rath led regional cable television and high speed broadband services provider Ortel Communication Limited (Ortel) reported profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 2.44 crore (six per cent margin) in the quarter ended 30 June, 2015 (Q1-2016) as compared to a loss of Rs 1.16 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter. However, the company's Q1-2016 PAT was less than half (lower by 56.8 per cent) the PAT of Rs 5.65 crore (12.6 per cent margin) in the immediate trailing quarter.

Ortel reported 20.5 per cent growth in Total Income from Operations (TIO) at Rs 40.60 crore in Q1-2016 as compared to the Rs 33.69 crore in Q1-2015, but 9.6 per cent lower than the Rs 44.91 crore in Q5-2015.

Notes: 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10 million = 1 crore

The numbers mentioned in this report are standalone.

Subscription numbers and ARPU

The company reported a 2.1 per cent growth in cable revenue generating units (RGU) in Q1-2016 at 481,317 as compared to the 471,592 in the immediate trailing quarter. In Q1-2015, the company had 462,328 RGU, hence the number grew by 4.1 per cent in Q1-2016.

Ortel’s q-o-q digital cable RGUs grew six per cent to 1,13,653 in the current quarter from 1,07,175 in Q1-2015, while its analogue cable RGUs grew 0.9 per cent to 3,67,664 as compared to the 3,64,417 in the same period.

The company reported a slight drop in average revenue per user (ARPU) in cable subscription – ARPU for digital cable dropped by Re 1 to Rs 184 and for analogue cable also the ARPU dropped by Re 1 to Rs 144 in the current quarter as compared to the immediate trailing quarter.

Broadband RGUs in the current quarter grew 4.1 per cent to 60900 from 58519 in Q4-2015. Ortel announced the launch of up to 50 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 Broadband Internet in Odisha. The company’s Broadband ARPU in the current quarter also declined by Re 1 to Rs 393 from Rs 394 in Q4-2015.

LCO Buyout

Ortel signed network buy out agreements with multiple LCOs during the quarter taking the total RGUs to 542,217. The company said that another 33,000 RGUs are in the pipeline and would be added to total RGUs in the forthcoming months.

Company speak

Ortel president and CEO Bibhu Prasad Rath said, “We have begun the year on a healthy note with 25 per cent increase in revenues and 44 per cent improvement in EBITDA during Q1-2016. EBITDA margins enhanced to 37 per cent from 32 per cent in Q1-2015 and profit after tax stood strong at Rs 2.4 crore compared to Rs 5.6 crore reported in full year FY-2015. Thus the trend remains encouraging. Overall growth was delivered on the back of steady contribution from cable TV and broadband segments supported by continued momentum in the infrastructure leasing segment. Significant growth in subscriber base, deeper penetration, enhanced product offerings and a strong team, should enable us to notably improve our performance going forward.

I am also pleased to share that over and above the 542,217 RGUs as on 30 June, 2015, we have signed buy out agreements with multiple LCOs with total estimated RGUs of 33,000, which would be integrated into Ortel’s last mile network going forward. So we remain on track and are confident of achieving our target of one million RGUs (10 lakh) by March 2017 backed by our LCO buy out strategy and focus on organic growth both in broadband and cable TV.”

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Ortel

Total Expenditure in Q1-2016 at Rs 34.42 crore (84.8 per cent of TIO) was 14.8 per cent more than the Rs 29.99 crore (89 per cent of TIO) in Q1-2015 and 4.1 per cent more than the Rs 33.08 crore (73.6 per cent of TIO).

Ortel paid Rs 8.91 crore (22 per cent of TIO) towards programming cost, which was 3.6 per cent more than the Rs 8.60 crore (18.9 per cent of TIO) in Q1-2015 and was 4.9 per cent more than the Rs 8.49 crore (18.9 per cent of TIO) in the immediate trailing quarter.

Bandwidth cost in Q1-2016 at Rs 1.78 crore (4.4 per cent of TIO) was 6.9 per cent more than the Rs 1.67 crore (4.9 per cent of TIO) in the corresponding year ago quarter and was 2.3 per cent more than the Rs 1.74 crore in Q4-2015.

Employee Benefit Expense (EBE) in Q1-2016 at Rs 4.89 crore (12 per cent of TIO) was 19.3 per cent more than the Rs 4.09 crore (9.8 per cent of TIO) in Q1-2015 and was 11.4 per cent more than Rs 4.39 crore (12.2 per cent of TIO) in the immediate trailing quarter.

Ortel has introduced free broadband option for all Ortel Cable TV subscribers in the states of Odisha, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh as a complimentary special value added service in order to target to deeper penetrate into markets by making internet affordable. The company says that its offer includes a free data limit every month for a year. The subscriber will be charged a nominal amount after exceeding the free data usage for the month. 

Click here to read the unaudited financial statement 

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