WWIL writes off Rs 562 million

MUMBAI: Wire & Wireless India Ltd (WWIL), Zee‘s demerged cable TV distribution company, has written off Rs 562.7 million as one time provisioning against cable TV assets.

"WWIL decided to write the amount off even as it focusses on its digital rollout plans. The assets include old analogue headends and cable TV equipment," says a source.


The net loss has mounted to Rs 1.07 billion for the FY‘07 fiscal. High subsidies in the Cas (conditional access system) markets of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata has led to operating loss of Rs 233 million for the year.

Revenue, however, has grown 35 per cent to Rs 2.1 billion on the back of new customer acquisition and first phase of Cas implementation.

The company is expected to continue bleeding due to pressure of seeding the market with subsidised digital set-top boxes. The cost of acquiring subscribers is estimated at Rs 1500 and could go up with intense rivalry from direct-to-home (DTH) operators.

As a result, the shares of WWIL have taken a beating and from a high of Rs 139.90 in January it has plunged continuously to close today at Rs 59.40 on the BSE.

WWIL will require to raise funding to support its aggressive ramp-up plan, analysts say. "But there is a strong growth opportunity in the cable business, though it would be negative in bottomline for a few years and would require capital infusion," they add.

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