Television

Rediff reports $3.4 million Q2 revenues

MUMBAI: Leading Indian portal Rediff.com India Limited has announced its financial results for the second fiscal quarter ended 30 September with total revenues of $3.4 million.

India Online revenues grew by 18 per cent compared to the same quarter last year primarily on the back of growth in revenues from fee based services. Fee based revenues comprised of 49 per cent of total India Online revenues.

"Our focus this quarter has been on streamlining operations, developing and launching premium fee-based products in the area of mobile and subscription services," Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman and CEO, Rediff.com India said in a statement. "With these launches and product developments, we believe we are strongly positioned to capitalize from the growth when the demand for such value added services explodes in the Indian market", concluded Balakrishnan.

The highlights of financial performance are as follows: *Registered users grew by 31 per cent compared to the same quarter last year to 27.9 million.

*Loss per ADS at the EBITDA level was 3.7 cents or US$0.9 million compared to 7.9 cents or US$2 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2002.

*Net Loss per ADS, for the quarter was 5.6 cents or US$1.4 million compared to 34 cents or US$8.7 million for the corresponding quarter ended September 2002.

*The company continues to evaluate whether it can grow the Valucom communications business on its own or whether it is more prudent to consider partnering with players who have a larger scale of operations or whether to divest in whole or in part from the business.

*The company launched an innovative, first of its kind 'Mobile Search' application on the text messaging (SMS) platform that allows mobile subscribers to search and download ring tones from their cell phones.

*Revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2003 were $3.4 million, as compared to $4.3 million in the same quarter last year. India Online contributed $0.77 million, an increase of 18% when compared to the same quarter last year on the strength of growth in fee base services.

*Fee based services comprise mobile services, subscription services and merchandising. Revenues for US Publishing for the quarter ended September 30, 2003, declined marginally to $1.5 million, compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2002. Despite the marginal decline in revenues, US Publishing posted an improved performance due to tighter integration between US and India operations and cost rationalization initiatives.

*US Publishing comprised of India Abroad, a weekly news publication and Rediff USA online, which are leading and credible news providers to the Indian American community.

*Revenues from the phone card business were $1.2 million compared to $2.1 million for the same quarter last year. Lower revenues were due to decreased usage of US to India pre-paid phone services, reduced rates per minute, shifting of calls originating from the US to calls originating in India as well as management's decision to exit from the low margin prepaid wholesale phone card business.

*Gross Margin for the quarter was $1.3 million (37 per cent) compared to $1.1 million (27 per cent) in the same quarter last year.

*Total operating expenses decreased by $1 million for the quarter to $2.2 million, compared to $3.2 million for the same quarter last year.

The company realized these savings largely due to tighter integration of its operations between India and the US, cost rationalization initiatives implemented in the US publishing operations and the Valucom subsidiary.

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