Cable TV

Siti Cable reports 45 per cent jump in EBIDTA for FY-2014

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BENGALURU: The Essel group’s Subhash Chandra-led Siti Cable Network Ltd (Siti Cable) has reported a 44.7 per cent jump in operating profit (EBIDTA) in FY-2014 to Rs 125.9 crore as compared to the Rs 87 crore in the previous fiscal. The company reported a 46.8 per cent jump in total revenue to Rs 710.3 crore in FY-2014 from the Rs 483.7 crore in FY-2013. Some of the digital dividend - courtesy the government mandated digitisation - seem to be accruing to its top line in terms of higher subsription revenues.

Note :  Rs 100,00,000=100 lakh= 1 crore = 10 million.

Siti Cable's  operating revenue in FY-2014 at Rs 697.24 crore was 48.46 per cent more than the Rs 469.64 crore in FY-2014. Operating revenue in Q4-2014 at Rs 233.34 crore was 41.26 per cent more than the Rs 165.18 crore in the immediate trailing quarter and 65.15 per cent more than the Rs141.29 crore in the year ago quarter Q4-2013. Operating revenue in its case is derived mainly from subscriber related income, income from bandwidth charges, advertisements, and other operating revenues.

Siti Cable chairman Subhash Chandra said, “The cable television industry in India is rapidly changing with the visible signs of progression towards the complete digitalization. Television viewers are getting familiar with inherent advantages of digitization through cable, digital cable is playing an instrumental role in digitization. Digital cable television is a major engine of growth for Siti Cable across all geographies. Our sustained investment in this segment will further enhance the customer television viewing experience.”

Let us look at the other FY-2014 and Q4-2014 numbers reported by Siti Cable:

The company’s total expense (Tot Exp) in FY-2014 was 47.5 per cent more at Rs 668.20 crore (95.83 per cent of operating revenue or Op Inc)  as compared to the Rs 453.01 crore (96.46 per cent of Op Inc) in FY-2013. Tot Exp in Q4-2014 at Rs 233.07 crore (99.88 per cent of Op Inc) was 41.04 per cent more than the Rs165.25 crore (100.04 per cent of Op Inc) in Q3-2014 and 59.99 per cent more than the Rs145.68 crore (103.11 per cent of Op Inc)  in Q4-2013.

A major component of the Tot Exp are channel carriage, pay channel and related costs (CPRC). Siti Cable paid 42.5 per cent more towards CPRC in FY-2014 at Rs 333.95 crore (47.9 per cent of Op Inc) as compared to the Rs 234.35 crore (49.9 per cent of Op Inc) in FY-2013. In Q4-2014, CPRC cost at Rs 124.16 crore (53.21 per cent of Op Inc) was 44.96 per cent more than the Rs  85.65 crore (51.85 per cent of Op Inc) in Q3-2014 and 42.39 per cent more than the Rs 87.20 crore (61.72 per cent of Op Inc) in Q4-2013.

Siti Cable’s finance cost in FY-2014 at Rs119.11 crore (17.08 per cent of Op Inc) was 37.88 per cent more than the Rs 86.39 crore (18.39 per cent of Op Inc) in FY-2013. Finance cost in Q4-2014 at Rs 31.24 crore (13.39 per cent of Op Inc) was a mere 0.06 per cent more than the Rs 31.22 crore (18.9 per cent of Op Inc) in Q3-2013 and 21.2 per cent more than the Rs 25.77 crore (18.24 per cent of Op Inc) in Q4-2013.

Clearly, the MSO -which has 56 analogue and 14 digital headend, a network of 12,000 km of coaxial and fibre optic cable, in 80 cities and reaching 10 million viewers - has more or less completed its investment in phase I and phase II towns and has hence gone easy on borrowings in the last quarter, leading to lower interest costs. With the mandate to complete phase III and phase IV of digitisation, it's possible that its finance costs may rise again. Unless, of course, the fruits of digitisation in phase I and phase II in terms of higher subscriber revenue negate that need in the coming quarters.

Other Expense in FY-2014 at Rs 202.64 crore (29.06 per cent of Op Inc) was 60.35 per cent more than the Rs126.37 crore (26.91 per cent of Op Inc)) in FY-2013. This expense head in Q4-2014 at Rs 75.39 crore (32.31 per cent of Op Inc) was 68.93 per cent more than the Rs 44.63 crore (27.02 per cent of Op Inc) in Q3-2014 and more than double (2.22 times) the Rs 33.92 crores (24.01 per cent of Op Inc) in Q4-2013.

The company’s loss in FY-2014 at Rs 94.06 crore was 46.8 per cent more than the Rs 64.07 crore in FY-2013. Siti Cable’s Q4-2014 loss at Rs 22.81 crore widened by 26.97 per cent as compared to the Rs 17.97 crore in Q3-2014, but was 17.98 per cent lower than the Rs 27.81 crore in Q4-2013.

Here are some Q4-2014 highlights from the Siti Cable press release.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2014 was Rs 243.4 crore as compared to Rs 147.4 crore during corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.

The consolidated operating profit (EBITDA) for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2014 was Rs 27.9 crores as compared to operating profit (EBITDA) of Rs 26 crore during corresponding quarter of the last fiscal. Gross Billing started in Delhi , Kolkata (DAS Ph-1 cities).

Siti Cable CEO V D Wadhwa said, “Our continuous efforts towards expanding the subscriber base, faster implementation of gross billing in Delhi and Kolkata , high focus on adherence to regulatory compliances and cost controls measure has helped us in delivering the healthy performance on a quarter on quarter basis. During the year, we have set the benchmark in being the pioneer company to monetize the business by collecting higher subscription on per subscriber basis, best backend infrastructure, fair and transparent commercial policies in dealing with all our associates”.

He further added, “We are well placed to benefit from the ongoing digitization implementation and fully geared up to grow revenue and profitability at a faster pace."

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