Dish TV posts Q3 net loss of Rs 430 mn; forex loss at Rs 156 mn

MUMBAI: Dish TV has posted a net loss of Rs 430 million for the third quarter of the fiscal as its bottom line got negatively impacted by a foreign exchange loss of Rs 156 million.

In the trailing quarter, the leading direct-to-home (DTH) company had posted a net loss of Rs 486 million.

The subscriber acquisition cost has come down to Rs 2124 compared to Rs 2232 in the trailing quarter.

Dish TV added 740,000 subscribers in the quarter, achieving a total of 12.5 million gross and 9.5 million net subscribers. The company has added 2.04 million subscribers in the first nine months of the fiscal and its target is of three million new customers in FY‘12.

Total operating revenue grew 31.4 per cent to Rs 4.90 billion compared to the year-ago period and 1.7 per cent against the sequential quarter. Subscription revenue accounted for Rs 4.25 billion, up 37.6 per cent Y-o-Y.

Dish TV‘s ARPU (average revenue per user) has been maintained at Rs 152.

Dish TV’s expenses went up marginally (2.7 per cent) during the quarter, which stood at Rs 3.70 billion as against Rs 3.60 billion in the preceding quarter.

Ebitda, however, fell to Rs 1.20 billion, from Rs 1.22 billion in the preceding quarter.

Dish TV chairman Subhash Chandra said, “As the world at large continues to stare at economic uncertainty in the face, India remains cautiously optimistic but vulnerable to the risks associated with a slowing global economy.”

“Despite a challenging macroeconomic environment and resultant price sensitivity, subscriber additions across the DTH industry have been encouraging. With digitalization expected to boost subscriber additions, Dish TV is well-entrenched to further build on its supremacy while also targeting larger uptake of ARPU accretive HD subscribers,” he added.

Dish TV MD Jawahar Goel added, “The festival quarter ending December has traditionally been a bigger contributor in terms of subscriber additions and revenue compared to the other quarters. This year, though the category outperformed on a year-on-year basis in the month of October being ‘Diwali’ time, subscriber additions thereafter witnessed a slowdown. Notwithstanding the fallout in terms of lower additions what is heartening is that Dish TV, followed by much of the industry, was able to initiate and sustain a significant price hike at the entry level. The price hike was taken to offset the unprecedented rupee depreciation in the last few months. Dish TV continued to maintain its lead in incremental share in a six player market.”

On mandatory digitalisation, Goel added, “While on-ground activity in terms of subscriber demand is yet to catch up speed, Dish TV endeavours to retain its market share in an expanding digital universe. We believe that Dish TV with its strong brand equity and field infrastructure is likely to be one of the preferred choices of the potential digital consumer.”

Talking about the third quarter results, Goel said, “A larger base contributed to a flat ARPU in this quarter. However, the recent price hike is likely to filter through and add to the ARPU in the coming quarters.”

“Due to a further 8 per cent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in this quarter, there is an additional foreign exchange loss of Rs 156 million. The foremost reason for this loss is significant foreign currency debt which needs to be reported using the closing exchange rate. However, despite a significant portion of the capital equipment being dollar denominated, SAC remained within expectation largely due to the substantial inventory and higher entry price. Bottom line profitability remains realistic but for the notional loss due to foreign exchange fluctuation,” he added.

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