Despite losses, NDTV reports improved operational performance for Q1-2014

BENGALURU: Despite the fact that the first quarter is seasonally the worst quarter, and one-time expenses related to the re-launch of NDTV Profit, New Delhi Television Networks Limited (NDTV) has reported an improved operation performance for Q1-2014.

NDTV's consolidated net loss for Q1-2014 at Rs 24.04 crore was 7.9 per cent lower than the consolidated loss of Rs 26.09 crore for Q1-2013. The company had reported a consolidated profit of Rs 27.81 crore in Q4-2013 and a consolidated profit of Rs 19.1 crore for FY-2013.

Consolidated income from operations of Rs 102.4 crore for Q1-2014 was slightly lower (by 4.1 per cent) as compared to the Rs 106.83 crore for Q1-2013 and substantially lower (45.1 per cent lower) than the Rs 186.56 crore for Q4-2013.

Total consolidated expense was Rs 125.75 crore for Q1-2014, lower by 5.1 per cent as compared to Rs 132.56 crore for Q1-2013 and 21.8 per cent lower than the Rs 160.90 crore for Q4-2013.

NDTV's consolidated production expense at Rs 24.11 crore for Q1-2014 was lower by 12.1 per cent as compared to the production expense of Rs 27.42 crore for Q1-2013 and 39.9 per cent lower than the Rs 40.12 crore for Q4-2013.

NDTV spent Rs 21.57 crore towards marketing, distribution and promotional expenses, 37.7 per cent lower than the Rs 34.65 crore for Q1-2013 and almost half (50.6 per cent of the total marketing, distribution and promotional expenses) of the Rs 42.63 crore in Q4-2013.

NDTV's consolidated operating and administrative expense for Q1-2014 at Rs 28.58 crore was 7.2 per cent more than the Rs 26.65 crore for Q1-2013, but 4.8 per cent lower than the Rs 30.01 crore for Q4-2013.

NDTV's Profit / (Loss) from ordinary activities before finance cost and exceptional Items for Q1-2014 at Rs (-14.74) crore was 13.6 per cent lower than the Rs (-17.05) crore for Q1-2013. NDTV reported a profit / from ordinary activities before finance cost and exceptional items of Rs 14.65 crore for Q4-2013.

NDTV's finance costs for Q1-2014 at Rs 4.65 crore was substantially lower by 31.5 per cent as compared to the Rs 6.79 crore for Q1-2013 and lower by 24 per cent as compared to the Rs 6.12 crore for Q4-2013.

NDTV says that traditionally, the April to June quarter is seasonally unfavourable for the media industry. This has been exacerbated by the economic downturn. Further, some of the benefits of Phase I and Phase II Digitisation - substantial reduction in carriage fees and significant increase in subscription revenues - are yet to fully accrue.

NDTV group CEO Vikram Chandra said, "We are excited at the imminent re-launch of NDTV Profit. We are working on a unique concept. A business channel only attracts viewership in the day, when the markets are open. The relaunched channel will cover markets during the day, and high viewership programming in the evening. This enables us to tap into two prime-time bands."

NDTV is the first Indian company to have 1 million followers on Twitter.

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