Television business props up Network 18 Q1-2014; prevents further reddening

BENGALURU: Network 18 Media & Investments Limited (Network 18) reported a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs18.9 crore in Q1-2014, as compared to a loss of Rs 90 crore in Q1-2013.

Results from three of the four revenue segments of the media and entertainment player reported losses, with television playing the lone hand in keeping profits for Q1-2014 buoyant and positive. Though Network 18 reports combined figures for Television and Motion Pictures, company officials confirmed that Motion Pictures had also added to Network 18 losses.

Despite showing revenue growth, the other two segments -digital content and e-commerce business; and allied businesses also pulled down profits for Q1-2014.

Let us take a look at the figures for Q1-2014

Operating revenue for Q1-2014 stood at Rs 556.6 crore on a reported basis.

The corresponding figure for Q1-2013 was Rs 435.6 crore, hence showing a 28 per cent growth for Q1-2014. Operating revenue during Q1-2014, was however lower by 18 per cent as compared to the Rs 679.6 crore for the preceding quarter Q4-2013.

Revenue from the television and motion business at Rs 437.4 crore was 47.2 per cent higher than the Rs 297.2 crore for Q1-2013 but about 8.6 per cent lower than the Rs 511.3 crore for Q4-2013.

Revenue from digital content and e- commerce at Rs 106.9 crore grew 46.8 per cent as compared to the Rs 72.8 crore in Q1-2013, and was about 3.2 per cent lower than the Rs 110.4 crore during Q4-2013.

Revenue for Q1-2014 from allied businesses fell 37.7 per cent to Rs 65.6 crore from Rs 105.3 crore in Q1-2013 and 36.7 per cent from Rs.103.6 crore in Q4-2013.

Digital content and e-commerce reported a loss of Rs 43.5 crore. Allied businesses reported a loss Rs 9.9 crore and Rs 9.2 crore were contributed to the losses from discontinued operations. Television and Motion picture business propped up the company with an operating profit of Rs 23.8 crore. The company turned in a profit after tax of Rs 18.9 crore for the quarter.

Network18 managing director Raghav Bahl said, "The macroeconomic environment continues to be challenging and growth prospects remain uncertain. Despite this backdrop, our core TV and digital businesses turned in a steady performance. We continued the profitable monetisation of our investments and raised growth capital in HomeShop18. There were pockets of weaknesses in our portfolio and we are committed to improving segments that are not meeting expectations. We have a strong portfolio of media businesses and remain confident of unlocking its value for our stakeholders".

Network 18,group CEO B. Saikumar said, "The core television and digital businesses got off to a stable start in the new fiscal year. Our entertainment broadcasting business showed strength and the e-commerce businesses grew strongly. While our news and infotainment businesses have seen distinct softness in advertising, our entertainment businesses led by Colors have performed well on this front. Motion pictures have seen losses this quarter and the management is confident of stemming them in the immediate term. Net distribution revenues from IndiaCast are on a strong growth trajectory and we continue to be enthused by its growth potential. Our e-commerce businesses continued their stellar growth and the digital content business grew steadily as well. We remain confident of delivering a strong year ahead."

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