Fever FM revenue up but HT Media revenue shrinks

BENGALURU: Indian media group HT Media Limited (HT Media) reported a drop in consolidated revenues and increase in consolidated profits for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2-18, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (y-o-y). The company reported 11.2 percent y-o-y drop in consolidated total income at Rs 6,041.3 million in Q2-18 as compared to Rs 6,802.3 million. Net profit after tax, however, more than doubled (up 2.14 times) y-o-y to Rs 662.2 million in the current quarter as compared to Rs 309.3 million.

HT Media has four segments-Printing and Publishing of Newspapers & Periodicals (Printing); Radio Broadcast & Entertainment (Radio); Digital; and Multimedia Content Management (Multimedia). The y-o-y drop in revenue was mainly due to drop in revenues of the company’s printing segment.

The company reported an 18.4 percent increase in revenue for its radio segment that operates radio stations under the brand Fever FM for the current quarter. HT Media’s radio segment reported an operating profit of Rs 26.2 million as compared to an operating loss of Rs 3.3 million in Q2-17. HT Media, in its investor presentation for the current quarter, informed that its radio business continued robust growth and increase in profit margins. It says further there was revenue growth in core stations, while new stations continued to perform adding to top line in a profitable manner and that synergies in costs had brought in margin expansion.

Printing segment revenue declined 5.9 percent y-o-y in Q2-18 to Rs 4,948.9 million from Rs 5,259.5 million in Q2-17. Printing segment operating profit more than doubled (2.25 times) to Rs 1,048.8 million in Q2-18 as compared to Rs 467.2 million in Q2-17. HT Media’s digital segment revenue declined 9.5 percent to Rs 337 million from Rs 372.5 million. Digital segment reported an operating loss of Rs 116.2 million in the current quarter as compared to an operating loss of Rs 128.6 million in Q2-17.

HT Media’s Multimedia segment reported operating revenue of Rs 444.6 million and an operating profit of Rs 8.5 million. The Multimedia segment had revenue of Rs 473.4 million in Q1-18 and an operating profit of Rs 2.9 million.

HT Media chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia said, “Advertising revenue growth continues to be a challenge in our coreprint business, with this quarter witnessing high level of uncertainty across industries on account of GST implementation. Our radio business continues to do well. New radio stations are generating revenue and the entire radio business witnessed an increase in operating profits. While advertising revenue in print has been soft, operating profits continue to grow steadily on the back of strong cost management and aided by favourable currency and commodity rates.”

“GST is expected to stabilise soon which should lead to a better macroeconomic environment and result in higher advertising spends. With growth coming back to core business, we hope to deliver better results to our shareholders,” added Bhartia.

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