Cable TV

Siti Networks' operating profit more than doubles in first quarter

BENGALURU:  The Subhash Chandra led Essel group’s television cable network company Siti Networks Limited (Siti) reported EBIDTA including other income or operating profit of Rs 1,071.65 million (28.9 percent of Total Income) for the quarter ended 30 June 2017 (Q1-18, current quarter). The company’s operating profit for the current quarter was more than double (up 2.26 times) the Rs 474.09 million (16.5 percent of Total Income) the company had reported for the corresponding year ago quarter (y-o-y) and 54.2 percent higher than the Rs 694.88 million (20.6 percent of Total Income) reported for the immediate trailing quarter Q4-17 (q-o-q).

Consequently, the company reported a lower total comprehensible loss in the current quarter at Rs 151.32 million, which was a little less than one third (1/2.87 times) the total comprehensible loss of Rs 435.26 million in Q1-17 and less than a fourth (1/4.26 times) the total comprehensible loss of Rs 647.16 million in Q4-17.

Siti’s total income for Q1-18 was 29.4 percent higher y-o-y at Rs 3,711.13 million as compared to Rs 2,868.82 and 10.1 percent higher q-o-q as compared to Rs 3,370.46 million. Revenue from operations increased 29.4 percent y-o-y to Rs 3,649.57 million from Rs 2,819.67 million and increased 12.1 percent q-o-q from Rs 3,255.18 million.

Breakup of revenue

Siti’s subscription revenue in the current quarter increased 34.6 percent y-o-y to Rs 1,700 million from Rs 1,263 million and increased 6.3 percent q-o-q from Rs 1,600 million. Carriage revenue in the current quarter increased 6.3 percent y-o-y to Rs 765 million from Rs 720 million, but declined 4.1 percent q-o-q from Rs 798 million. Activation revenue in Q1-18 more than doubled (increased 2.32 times) y-o-y to Rs 849 million from Rs 366 million and was 75.4 percent more q-o-q than Rs 484 million. Broadband internet revenue for Q1-18 increased 32.3 percent y-o-y to Rs 258 million from Rs 195 million, but declined 3 percent q-o-q from Rs 266 million.

Subscription numbers

The company says that it deployed more than 1.6 million set top boxes during the quarter in West Bengal, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, primarily in Phase 4 areas. It says that its digital video base was about 11.6 million at the exit of June 2017 and that prepaid migration is on track with 1.16 million subscribers across 134 locations brought under its ambit by August 2017. Siti says that during the year 0.05 million of its customers adopted HD services taking the total HD customer base to 0.22 million by exit Q1-18.

Siti’s broadband internet subscriber base increased by approximately 12,000 to 0.24 million in Q1-18 from 0.228 million in the immediate trailing quarter. The company says that as a strategy it increased focus on higher 'Lock-in' broadband internet plans in Q1-18. About 40 percent of its acquisitions are now coming on longer duration plans. Siti says that it is targeting to take this figure to over 50 percent in Q2-18.

Company speak

Siti executive director Sidharth Balakrishna said, ““SITI continues to hold a strong position in the market with record customer additions.We are well positioned to monetize this base from Q2 onwards and maintain a strong growth trajectory. In Broadband, we will selectively expand our offerings and drive increased customer focus. We are also making significant efforts to strengthen processes and optimise costs going forward, while also enhancing customer offerings. This along with a focus on certain revenue streams could potentially provide upsides going forward”

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Siti

Consolidated Total Expenditure increased 14.1 percent y-o-y to Rs 3,696.52 million (99.6 percent of Total Income) in Q1-16 from Rs 3,238.75 million (112.9 percent of Total Income) in Q1-18 and increased 0.4 percent q-o-q from Rs 3.680.87 million (109.2 percent of Total Income).

Consolidated Employee Benefit Expense increased 22.6 percent y-o-y to Rs 234.46 million (6.3 percent of Total Income) in the current quarter from Rs 191.22 million (6.7 percent of Total Income) million but declined 3.9 percent q-o-q from Rs 243.97 million (7.2 percent of Total Income).

Consolidated Carriage sharing, pay channel and related costs in Q1-18 increased 5.1 percent y-o-y to Rs 1,560.55 million (42.1 percent of Total Income) from Rs 1,484.36.36 million (51.7 percent of Total Income) but declined 3 percent q-o-q from Rs 1,608/94 million (47.7 percent of Total Income).

Consolidated Finance costs in the current quarter increased 11.6 percent y-o-y to Rs 331.03 million (8.9 percent of Total Income) from Rs 296.71 million (10.3 percent of Total Income), but declined 2.1 percent q-o-q from Rs 338..02 million (10 percent of Total Income).

Consolidated Other expenses increased 30.7 percent y-o-y to Rs 841.78 million (22.7 percent of Total Income) in Q1-18 from Rs 643.83 million (22.4 percent of Total Income) and increased 11.2 percent q-o-q from Rs 757.12 million (22.5 percent of Total Income).

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