Siti Cable consolidated Q2 net loss narrows on other income

MUMBAI: A large multi system operator (MSO) Siti Cable Network, formerly Wire and Wireless India Limited, narrowed its consolidated net loss to Rs 126.5 million in the second quarter ended 30 September from Rs 141.8 million a year earlier on higher other income.

On a standalone basis, Siti Cable‘s net loss stood at Rs 119.16 million in the second quarter, up from Rs 97.43 million a year earlier, on increase in expenditure as it acquired customers ahead of the 1 November digitisation deadline in the four metro cities. Its income from operations increased to Rs 885.97 million from Rs 634.1 million a year earlier, while expenditure rose to Rs 919.49 million from Rs 653.4 million.

The Subhash Chandra-promoted Siti Cable‘s consolidated operating revenues grew 5 per cent to Rs 935.3 million in the second quarter from Rs 893 million a year earlier, while its consolidated operating expenditure fell 4 per cent to Rs 850.6 million from Rs 889.3 million a year earlier.

Operating revenue is primarily generated from subscriber related income, income from bandwidth charges, income from advertisements, STB activation charges and other operating revenues.

Its other income (income from sources other than normal business transactions) in the second quarter was 52 per cent higher at Rs 104.5 million compared with a year earlier. The MSO‘s interest cost in the second quarter rose 35 per cent to Rs 195 million from Rs 144.2 million a year ago and its depreciation provision increased 52 per cent to Rs 117.3 million from Rs 77.3 million.

The company‘s main operating expenses include cost of goods and services, employees‘ cost, selling & distribution expenses and other expenditure. Major cost item on a consolidated basis was cost of goods & services recorded at Rs. 621.5 million during the quarter representing 60 per cent of the total revenue compared to Rs. 637.4 million in the second quarter of the last fiscal, representing 66 per cent of the total revenue.

Siti Cable‘s consolidated administrative expenses during the quarter decreased 10 per cent to Rs 130.3 million from Rs 145 million. The company‘s staff costs grew 1 per cent to Rs 69.5 million from Rs 68.6 million.

Siti Cable COO Anil Malhotra said the company has acquired one million subscribers in the four metros that are switching to digital cable in the first phase from 1 November.

Siti Cable said it has executed DAS Interconnect agreement with about 60% of local cable operators in its networks in the four cities and with majority of the broadcasters to give a big push to digitisation. It have also has introduced monthly digital cable television packages for consumers namely Janta & Popular packages."

Malhotra said, "We have acquired approx 1.0 million digital subscribers in these metros and remained focused on increasing our operating revenues and cost control thereby improving the bottom line. We are confident that the significant positive momentum of digital cable will not only continue to drive Siti‘s growth for the rest of the fiscal year, but also strengthen the company‘s growth in the years to come."

The company said it has given Rs 1.73 billion as business advances to its subsidiaries and other companies for meeting working capital requirements and for acquisition of MSOs/ direct points, technological upgrading.

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