Zee News Q2 net up at Rs 114.7 million

MUMBAI: Zee News Limited (ZNL) has posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 114.7 million for the quarter ended 30 September, 2008, up 104.4 per cent from Rs 56.1 million in the previous year.

During the period, the company’s revenue jumped 60 per cent to stand at Rs 1.27 billion as compared to Rs 798.1 million in the prior year.

Advertisement revenue increased 60.8 per cent to Rs 1.01 billion while subscription revenue grew 56.2 per cent to stand at Rs 234 million.

Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra said, “In this time of a perceptible global economic slowdown and challenging macroeconomic environment during which investor confidence is certainly not at its peak, Zee News Limited has delivered excellent results in the second quarter of FY'09. The company has maintained its growth momentum and recorded a healthy 60 per cent increase in top line of Rs 1.27 billion. Consolidated EBIDTA stood at Rs 212 million, up 99.3 per cent. As per our guidance given, the Telugu channel has broken even in this quarter.”

After launching the Tamil general entertainment channel on 12 October, ZNL plans to launch the Telugu news channel, Zee 24 Ghantalu, in November. Plans are also afoot to launch UP news channel Zee 24 Ghante. "In line with our vision of regional expansion, we may as well look for certain innovative strategic investments in the coming period,” Chandra added.

Marathi movie channel Zee Talkies has been transferred to ZNL with effect from 1 August.

Commenting on the results, ZNL MD Laxmi Narain Goel said: “The existing businesses continued to grow and recorded around 45 per cent growth in operating revenues while the same for new businesses was 226 per cent. Viewership too experienced an upward spiral with almost all the Zee News Limited channels experiencing a growth in channel share compared to the corresponding quarter last fiscal."

Added Zee News CEO Barun Das, “In our new businesses, both Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada are gaining traction in their respective markets and delivering growing revenues and GRPs. While Zee Telugu has broken even, Zee Kannada is strongly on the path to break even as per our previous guidance.”

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