TV18 results show upturn for Q1-2014

BENGALURU: Indian media and entertainment company TV18 Broadcast Limited (TV18) turned in a profit of Rs 5.9 crore after tax for the quarter on the back of a significantly deleveraged balance sheet as compared to a loss of Rs 23.5 crore in the previous year.

Income from operations for Q1-2014 stood at Rs107.37 crore, with other income contributing another Rs 2.25 crore to arrive at a net operating income of Rs109.62 crore, lower than the net operating income of Rs136.91 crore reported for Q1-2012 and significantly lower than the net operating income of Rs147.06 crore reported for Q4-2014. TV18’s net profit was Rs 8.91crore for Q1-2014 as against a net loss of Rs 7.79 crore for Q1-2013, but much lower than the net profit of Rs 20.95 crore for Q4-2013.

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

Q1-2014 revenues from its media operations stood at Rs 383.4 crore, while those from its motion picture business were Rs 18.8 crore. Reduction of inter-segmental revenues of Rs 6 crore resulted in reported revenues for the television and motion pictures business, including IndiaCast revenues of Rs 147.9 crore (75 per cent for the current year) at Rs 396.2 crore for the quarter.

Reported operating profit for Q1-2014 stood at Rs 23.8 crore, up 57 per cent over the Rs 15.5 crore during the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Overall, the company’s motion picture business dragged operating profits down. The company says that the losses from the Motion Pictures business were primarily on account of the tepid audience response received by its movie Bombay Talkies.

In the current quarter, its release Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has been a critically acclaimed, runaway hit.

For Q1-2014, motion picture business with revenues of Rs 18.8 crore reported an operating loss of Rs 8.4 crore, bringing down the operating profit of Rs 14.7 crore from the News and Entertainment segment and the Rs 15.2 crore operating profit from the Entertainment - Television business and the Rs 2.3 crore (75 per cent current year) from Indiacast.

Comparatively, losses from the Motion Picture business were much lower at Rs 2.4 crores during Q1-2013, while during Q4-2013, the Motion Picture business had actually returned a profit of Rs 3 crore during the previous quarter (Q4-2013).

Advertising Revenues grew 5.5 per cent year for Q1-2015 at Rs 227.5 crore as compared to Rs 215.6 crore the company reported in Q1-2013, but were significantly lower by Rs 50 crore (18 per cent) than the Rs 277.5 crore the company reported for the pervious quarter (Q4-2013).

Net Distribution Income grew 32 percent sequentially to Rs 34.9 crore for Q1-2014, swinging from a loss of Rs 16 crore during Q1-2013 and higher than the Rs 26.4 crore reported during the previous quarter Q4-2013.

IndiaCast is a 50-50 joint venture between TV18 and Viacom18 and has been consolidated as such. IndiaCast came into operation on 1 July 2012 and as such, is consolidated only from Q2 FY13. Also for the previous year it was consolidated as a 100 per cent subsidiary. TV18 moved to the Net Distribution Income methodology of accounting for carriage and subscription from Q2FY13. Q1FY13 results have been regrouped to ensure comparability. For Q1FY13, gross subscription and carriage numbers are included in the audited results of FY13. From the current year; we have stopped reporting new operations separately given their vintage. Segmental numbers are based on management accounts and are not audited.

Effective 1 July 2012, IndiaCast has been managing TV18's and Viacom18's distribution operations. operating profits Net Distribution Income may be understood as subscription revenues earned by the company minus carriage/placement fees or any promotions/commission paid.

News and Infotainment Operations

The summary for this segment shows three streams – General News, Business News and Infotainment (AETN18). For Q1-2014, operating profits from Business News of Rs 17.5 crore were eroded by the Rs 1.4 crore loss reported by General News and another Rs 1.4 crore loss by Infotainment to arrive at a net operating profit of Rs 14.7 crore.

Overall revenues for this segment were lower at Rs 119 crore for Q1-2014 as compared to the Rs 127 crore for Q1-2013 and significantly lower (by 25 per cent) than the Rs158.3 crore during the last quarter (Q4-2013). Even the revenues from the Business News stream were significantly lower (by 38.6 per cent) at Rs 57.3 crore for Q1-2014 as compared to the Rs 93.3 crore for Q4-2013, but were about six per cent higher than the Rs 54.2 crore reported for the corresponding quarter of the previous years (Q1-2013).

General News and Infotainment streams revenues were lower for Q1-2014 at Rs 55.2 crore (General News) and Rs 6.5 crore (Infotainment) as compared to the Rs 62.1 crore (General News) and Rs 10.7 crore (Infotainment) for Q1-2013. During Q4-2013, General News reported revenues of Rs 56.1 crore and Infotainment Rs 8.9 crore.

Entertainment Business

Q1-2014 revenues for Viacom 18 stood at Rs 408.3 crore as compared to the Rs 340.8 crore for Q1-2013 and Rs 404.8 crore for Q4-2013. Operating profits stood at Rs 15.2 crore as against Rs 2.4 crore in Q1-2013.

Broadcasting revenues for Q1-2014 were Rs 303.6 crore. The company says that

operating profits from its broadcasting business grew by 35 per cent over the previous year.

ETV News and Entertainment (Non-Telugu)

Figures reported on a 100 per cent basis for this stream are as follows:

ETV News revenues for Q1-2014 were Rs 27.8 crore with EBITDA of Rs 8.9 crore while revenues from ETV Entertainment stood at Rs 57.5 crore and a negative EBITDA of Rs 42.5 crore.

Said Network 18 managing director Raghav Bahl, “The macroeconomic environment continues to be challenging and growth prospects remain uncertain. Given this backdrop, our broadcasting operations turned in a steady performance aided by the roll out of digitisation in 42 cities. However, there were pockets of weakness and we are committed to improving segments that are not meeting expectations. We have a strong portfolio of channels and remain confident of unlocking their value for our stakeholders.”

Added Group CEO B Saikumar, “We continue to turn in steady operating profits from our television businesses. Motion pictures have seen losses this quarter and the management is confident of stemming them in the immediate term. While our news and infotainment businesses have seen distinct softness in advertising, our entertainment businesses led by Colors have performed well on this front. Net Distribution Revenues from IndiaCast are on a strong growth trajectory and we continue to be enthused by its growth potential. The industry is going through several important changes on both the advertising and distribution fronts. We believe that these changes are positive and will lead to a stronger industry structure. We remain confident of delivering a strong year ahead.”

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