TV18 posts Q2 losses, signals early recovery

MUMBAI: Television18, the company which operates leading business news channels CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz, has suffered losses for the second consecutive quarter.

On a standalone basis, TV18 has posted a net loss (after tax and minority interest, before ESOP charge out) of Rs 246.95 million for the quarter ended 30 September, as compared to a net profit of Rs 103.49 million a year ago.

Amid slowdown, revenue from news operations fell 20 per cent to Rs 647.50 million, as against Rs 808.23 in the same quarter of FY'09.

However, on the sequential basis, the company’s revenue has increased 14 per cent as compared to Rs 568.57 million in Q1.

Operating expenses went up by 12.07 per cent to Rs 547.11 million in the quarter under review on Y-o-Y basis.

TV18 is expecting revenues to grow YoY from next quarter onwards, ending four quarters of de-growth.

Meanwhile, the operating margin of the company decreased to 15.50 per cent in the quarter under review, compared to 39.60 per cent in the prior-year period.

On a consolidated basis, TV18, which also includes financials of Web18, Infomedia18 and Newswire18, has posted a net loss of Rs 563.74 million. For the same quarter of the previous year, net loss stood at Rs 402.19 million.

Total revenue from consolidated operations jumped 12.19 per cent to Rs 1.2 billion, as compared to Rs 1.07 billion a year ago. Expenses stood at Rs 1.25 billion, up 20.72 per cent.

The company announced that all its business units have reported sequential growth in revenues and all are set to turn Ebitda positive on consolidated basis. Also successful completion of rights issue will "substantially de-leverage the balance sheet."

"A successful completion of our rights issue will give the necessary dose of equity to the balance sheet, deleveraging it from the current debt levels," TV18 MD Raghav Bahl said in a statement.

Web18, the subsidiary that houses all the websites of the group, has curtailed its net loss to Rs 100.33 million, as compared to Rs 238.04 million a year ago. Revenue from the operations grew marginally by 4.85 per cent to Rs 160.08 million, while expenses dropped 38.26 per cent to Rs 211.45 million in the quarter.

In Infomedia18, however, the net loss has increased to Rs 37.90 million, from Rs 1.11 million in the corresponding quarter of FY ’09. Revenue has increased to Rs 353.72 million, from Rs 290.48 million, while expenses climbed to Rs 415.10 million, from Rs 299.62 million a year ago.

In Newswire18, revenue has grown 54 per cent and the company has turned Ebitda positive. Though it has posted a net loss of Rs 13.28 million, as against Rs 39.93 million, revenue rose to Rs 78.88 million (from Rs 51.20 million), while expenses were at Rs 76.87 million.

Bahl added, "We are happy to share that all our businesses have started showing revenue growth on a QoQ basis and we have reasons to believe that we shall soon be witnessing YoY growth as well. While the business news channels continue to have a positive Ebitda, Newswire18 has turned Ebitda positive as well. We are confident that the operating margins of other businesses, especially Web18 and Infomedia18, will start recovering from the next quarter."

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