Cable TV

Higher subscription & activation lead Den's turnaround in Q2

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BENGALURU: Indian multi system operator (MSO) Den Network (Den) reported growth in operating revenue, operating profit (EBIDTA) and profit after tax (PAT) for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2-18, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter. In Q2-17 (the corresponding year ago quarter), the company had reported a loss. The change to black from red in the current quarter was driven by a reported 22.3 percent increase in operating revenue and an operating profit for its cable distribution (cable) business. Den’s cable business performed well due to cost optimisation measures and the company accelerating its subscription collections. The company claims in its earnings release that its subscription collection efficiency in Q2-18 was 93 percent.

Den’s operating revenue for Q2-18 was Rs 3,277.9 million, 20.3 percent more y-o-y as compared to Rs 2,724.4 million. Total income including other revenue grew 19.6 percent y-o-y to Rs 3,349 million from Rs 2,800.4 million. The company reported 2.84 times the EBIDTA for Q2-18 at Rs 815.5 million as compared to Rs 287.5 million for the corresponding year ago quarter. PAT for the current quarter was Rs 11.1 million as compared to a loss of Rs 439.6 million in Q2-17.

Cable business revenue in Q2-18 was Rs 3,079.9 million as compared to Rs 2,517.4 million in Q2-17.Cable business operating profit in the current quarter was Rs 277.5 million as compared to a an operating loss of Rs 306.7 million in Q2-17. Cable business subscription revenue increased 24 percent y-o-y to Rs 164 million from Rs 132 million. Activation revenue increased more than 7 times (7.3 times) to Rs 37 million from Rs 5 million. Placement revenue increased 2 percent y-o-y to Rs 88 million from Rs 86 million. Broadband revenue declined 8 percent y-o-y to Rs 19 million from Rs 21 million. Broadband EBIDTA loss was lower at Rs 1 million in Q2-18 as compared to an operating loss of Rs 2 million in Q2-17.

Den says that it has deployed 0.25 million digital set top boxes in Q2-18 and its digital subscriber base (including associates) stands at 11 million. Broadband subscriber base in the current quarter was 0.205 million as compared to 0.14 million in Q2-17. Broadband ARPU declined in Q2-18 to Rs 664 from Rs 775 in Q2-17.

Total expenditure in Q2-18 was almost flat (increased 0.6 percent) y-o-y to Rs 3,261.2 million from Rs 3,240.3 million. The company has reduced employee costs in the current quarter by 17.1 percent to Rs 273.8 million from Rs 330.2 million. Placement fees expense in Q2-18 declined 22.5 percent y-o-y to Rs 107 million from Rs 138 million. Other expenses declined 3.7 percent y-o-y to Rs 756.9 million from Rs 786.2 million. Content costs in the current quarter increased 12 percent y-o-y to Rs 1,324.7 million from Rs 1,182.5 million.

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