WWIL consumes Rs 2.12 bn from rights issue

MUMBAI: Wire and Wireless (India) Limited (WWIL) has mopped up Rs 2.12 billion from the first tranche of its Rs 4.5 billion rights issue.

The remaining amount will pour in by March-end as the Subhash Chandra-promoted cable TV distribution company plans to go aggressive on its Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) operations.

"WWIL has utilised the entire Rs 2.12 billion. The company has repaid Rs 1.6 billion towards unsecured loans. Investment has also been made for HITS and some acquisitions," WWIL CEO Sudhir Agarwal tells

WWIL has invested Rs 1.5 billion for HITS and is the lone operator in this segment so far.

The company has widened its third-quarter consolidated net loss to Rs 344.58 million as revenue dropped 12 per cent. WWIL also took a knock of around Rs 140 million losses from HITS.

WWIL had posted a loss of Rs 226.74 million in the year-ago period.

"We are expanding the market through HITS. In the same period of last fiscal, we hadn‘t started these operations," says Agarwal.

Operating revenues fell 12 per cent to Rs 722.2 million for the quarter ended 31 December 2009, compared to Rs 817.9 million in the prior year. 
?The television distribution market in India is fast changing, with visible signs of progression towards a digital environment. The HITS policy announcement this quarter is a positive indication and I am confident that digital cable will also start playing an important role in the digitization of television,? says WWIL chairman Subhash Chandra.

Expenses in the quarter dipped marginally by 2 per cent at Rs 793.6 million, compared to Rs 810.3 million in the year-ago period. WWIL has streamlined staff and content costs over the quarters.

Operating loss for the quarter was Rs 71.3 million, as against an operating profit of Rs 7.7 million in the prior year.

The operating profit for analogue business in Q3 was Rs 61 million compared to an operating profit of Rs 8 million.   
Says Agarwal, ?The initial rollout of HITS has focused on tapping critical tier-II and tier-III cities and we are scaling up at decent pace. I am confident that going forward, HITS shall be a win-win proposition for WWIL, its consumers and stakeholders.?
WWIL promoters pledged 32.2 million shares, or 11.2 per cent of their stake, amounting to 7.1 per cent equity of the company.

Shares of WWIL closed Friday at Rs 19.15 on the BSE, down 2.54 per cent from its previous close.

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