Cable TV

Multiple challenges weaken Ortel numbers in second quarter

BENGALURU: Hit by multiple challenges, Indian regional multi-system operator (MSO) Ortel Communications Ltd (Ortel) reported lower numbers and posted net loss–the second one this fiscal–for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18). The company expects the business to stabilise one year down the line.

Ortel president and CEO Bibhu Prasad Rath explained the performance in an earnings release, “Our performance during the quarter further weakened due to multiple challenges faced by us, including severe competition in our core market, collections shortfalls, repayment of debt as well as integration issues among others.

“Financial year 2017-18 has been a difficult year for us on all fronts and we are actively working towards restoring the business performance. We have taken many firm steps to turnaround our performance over the last few months and we expect operations to improve going forward. However, we will take one year to fully stabilise our business. In the near term, our main effort is to improve cash collections, which will help us through this difficult phase of the company. We remain committed to our B-to-C ‘last-mile’ business model and believe it will help us through this tough operating environment.”

Declining average revenue per user (ARPUs), higher programming costs due to increase in cable TV subscribers, and higher bandwidth costs despite a lower internet subscriber base have impacted the company’s numbers.

Despite dropping prices for the consumer due to competition with other big internet players, the company has been losing broadband subscribers. Ortel witnessed 17.6 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in the broadband subscriber base between Q2 FY 2017-18 and Q2 FY 2016-17


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