Television

Zee Network Q1 2002 net profit estimated at Rs 490 m.

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MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms, which is scheduled to declare its results for the first quarter (Q1) ended 30 June 2002 today, is expected to post a roughly 18 per cent fall in net profit from the previous quarter, analysts that indiantelevision.com spoke to indicated. 

Zee Tele's net should end up in the range of Rs 490 million in this quarter on a consolidated gross of Rs 2,580 million. In the previous quarter, Zee achieved a net profit of Rs 599.1 million on a consolidated gross of Rs 3,243 million. One common refrain among the analysts was that Zee has for long been entering into its books a substantial amount of ad revenue profits that was in effect pre-booked and therefore does not really add to the company's bottomline. 

They are expecting the media major to make the correction at some point through a write-off but do not see that happening in this quarter. 

Quarter-on-quarter, sales growth has been forecast as being flat or negative. 

Investors have in recent times turned bearish on the share and its price has been headed southwards with its price currently in the Rs 120 range. 

This despite the fact that the network has been taking initiatives like hiring new professionals such as Prashant Sanwal to build on the gains that the Alpha regional language channels have been making; and Apurva Purohit to help course correct the lead channel Zee TV. 

Zee Tele has just last week announced a major deal with TV talk show veteran Shekhar Suman for two shows. Suman already anchors Nilaamghar for Zee TV, a show which packs a lot of energy and little ratings. 

Expectations are high that Simply Shekhar one of the new shows that Shekhar will star in, will better the fortunes of Zee TV and bridge the gap between Sony and itself. Star Plus the leader is far ahead of both of them.

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