NDTV Q2 net loss widens as revenue slips

MUMBAI: NDTV has widened its second-quarter net loss from the news business as revenue has slipped, but forecasts a strong recovery in the three-month period running to December as advertising spends rise on account of a prosperous festive season.

The company, which runs English and Hindi news channels NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India, has posted a net loss of Rs 342.7 million compared to a loss of Rs 118.5 million in the earlier year.

Income from operations for the quarter under review slid to Rs 656.5 million, down 8.39 per cent as compared to the year-ago revenue of Rs 716.6 million.

Operating loss (from operations before other income, interest and exceptional items) stood at Rs 298.3 million, as against Rs 75.8 million in the previous year.

"It has been a bad quarter generally for everybody in the news business from a revenue perspective. In the earlier year, some stability had come into the market in the second quarter. But the good news is that there seems to be a strong recovery in the third quarter coinciding with the festive season," says NDTV Group CEO KVL Narayan Rao.

NDTV‘s standalone expenses rose 22.05 per cent to Rs 982 million, mainly due to distribution expense. "Overall, costs are under control. The quarter saw a rise mainly on account of distribution expense," explains Rao.  
  Meanwhile on a consolidated basis, NDTV’s net loss narrowed to Rs 676.3 million, from Rs 855.9 million in the year-ago period. However, the consolidated results for the year-ago period include the results of operations of Turner General Entertainment Networks (formerly NDTV Imagine) and its subsidiaries in which NDTV Group had diluted its holding to a minority stake on 23 February 2010. Thus, the company clarified that consolidated results for the quarter ended 30 September 2010 are not comparable with the corresponding previous period.

Income from operations was at Rs 784.8 million, down from Rs 1.43 billion, while total expenses reduced from Rs 2.12 billion to Rs 1.44 billion.

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