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Den improves Q1-18 numbers, betters ARPB, net loss down

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BENGALURU / NEW DELHI: Indian multi-system operator (MSO) Den Network Limited (DEN) reported 38 per cent year-over-year increase in cable revenue at Rs 1,540 million for the quarter ended 30 June 2017 (Q1-18, current quarter) as compared to Rs 1,110 million for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal (Q1-17).

Cable business reported post activation operating profit (EBIDTA) of Rs 850 million and pre-activation operating profit of Rs 490 million for the current quarter. Corresponding IND-AS EBIDTA numbers for the year ago quarter were Rs 500 million and Rs 150 million respectively. (Some numbers in this report have been rounded off).

The company reported an overall higher y-o-y Average Revenue Per Box (ARPB) at Rs 74 in the current quarter as compared to Rs 52 in the corresponding year ago quarter. ARPB across all the four DAS phases was up, with DAS IV ARPB more than tripling to Rs 38 in the current quarter as compared to Rs 12 in Q1-17. DAS phase III ARPB increased to Rs 59 in Q1-18 as compared to Rs 36, DAS II ARPB increased from Rs 73 in Q-17 to Rs 91 in Q1-18, while DAS IV ARPB increased to Rs 110 in Q1-18 from Rs 101 in Q1-17

Quarter-over-quarter APRB however was slightly lower. For the quarter ended 31 March 2017 (Q4-17) DEN had reported ARPB of Rs 76, with ARPB of Rs 117, Rs 85, Rs 62 and Rs 46 for DAS phases I, II, III and IV respectivley. Only DAS Phase II ARPB has increased in Q1-18 as compared to the immediate trailing quarter.

Den Networks CEO SN Sharma said, “Den turned another quarter of impressive results by registering a stupendous performance on cable business. We remain focused on consumer needs and continue to take technology initiatives that will help our consumers make their lives convenient and connected. On the basis of IGAAP numbers, Den has broken even at the PNT level and the cable business has turned positive at the PAT level. We continue to add subscribers to our broadband business. The average data consumption for broadband business has already crossed 75 GB per month. We are very hopeful to continue this performance and are eagerly awaiting the the final verdict on the new TRAI tarriff order from the industry standpoint.”

Overall, Den has reported y-o-y growth across all its revenue streams – whether considereed on the basis of cable business, broadband business, other income, or considered on the basis of subscription income, placement revenue and other income.

The company says that it has deployed about 0.3 million boxes in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 in DAS phase III and IV areas and claims a digital subscriber base of about 10.7 million as on 30 June 2017.

Broadband business revenue in the current quarter increased to Rs 211.9 million from Rs 177.9 million. Broadband business EBIDTA reduced to a loss of Rs 82.6 million versus a loss of Rs 142.6 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Overall, Den Networks total income increased 15.75 per cent in Q1-18 to Rs 3,224.2 million from Rs 2,785.5 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. Overall consolidated EBIDTA increased 31.2 per cent y-o-y in Q-16 to Rs 694 million as compared to Rs 52.9 million. The company narrowed consolidated net loss to Rs 101.1 million for the quarter led by a good performance from the cable segment.

In the immediate trailing quarter, the company had said that it had focused largely on cash collections during the year which had brought down the net debt of the company to Rs. 1810 million as at March 31, 2017, thereby deleveraging its balance sheet. The net debt of the company has been further reduced to Rs 1340 million as on 30 June 2017.

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Den Network

Den’s total expenses in Q1-18 increased 5.2 per cent y-o-y to Rs 3,305.1 million from Rs 3,142.3 million in Q1-17. Content Costs in Q1-18 increased 16.3 per cent y-o-y Rs 1,307.7 million from Rs 1,124.7 million. Placement fees costs in Q1-18 reduced 5.8 per cent y-o-y to Rs 101.3 million from Rs 107.5 million in Q1-17.

Employee Benefits Expense in Q1-18 increased 25.5 per cent to Rs 317.4 million from Rs 253 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Other Expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 increased 4.2 per cent to Rs 803.8 million from Rs 771.2 million in Q1-17.

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