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ZMCL reports almost fivefold profit for Q1; DNA loss lower

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BENGALURU: The Essel group’s television news broadcasting arm Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) reported a 386.3 per cent growth (almost five fold) in consolidated profit after tax (PAT) for the period ended 30 June 2018 (Q1 2019, quarter or period under review) as compared (year-on-year comparison, y-o-y) to the corresponding year ago quarter (Q1 2018, year ago quarter). The company’s consolidated operating revenue increased 35.4 per cent y-o-y in Q1 2019 at Rs 154.69 crore as compared to Rs 114.45 crore in the year ago quarter. Total income increased 31.1 per cent y-o-y in Q1 2019 to Rs 158.39 crore from Rs 120.83 crore in Q1 2018.

It may be noted that ZMCL has sold its entire equity stake in Ez-Mall Online Ltd to a related party at an aggregate consideration of Rs. 8.60 crore. Accordingly, Ez-Mall Online Ltd ceased to be a subsidiary of ZMCL with effect from 30 June 2018 and gain on disposal of investments of approximately Rs 41.21 crore has been recognised during the quarter and shown as exceptional items.

PAT in Q1 2019 was Rs 35.89 crore as compared to Rs 7.38 crore in Q1 2018. Even if one were to neglect the benefit of exceptional items the company’s consolidated profit before tax (PBT) came to a healthy Rs 21.49 crore during the quarter under review as compared to Rs 12.57 crore in Q1 2018. ZMCL reported operating EBITDA at Rs 35.88 crore in Q1 2019, which was 42.3 per cent more than the Rs 25.22 crore in Q1 2018.

Also, during the quarter, ZMCL completed acquisition of balance 40 per cent equity stake in its subsidiary Zee Akaash News Private Ltd (ZANPL). Accordingly, ZANPL became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company with effect from 1 June, 2018 and figures for the current quarter are not comparable with previous periods presented in the consolidated financial results says the company.

In its earnings release ZMCL reported 34.5 percent y-o-y growth in advertising revenue for Q 2019 at Rs 136.97 crore from Rs 101.87 crore. Subscription revenue increased 1 per cent y-o-y to Rs 11.1 crore in Q1 2019 from Rs 10.99 crore. Other sales and services quadrupled (increased by 3.16 times) in Q1 2019 to Rs 6.62 crore from Rs 1.59 core in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Let us look at the other numbers reported by ZMCL

ZMCL’s total expenditure in Q1 2019 increased 28.5 per cent y-o-y to Rs 134.93 crore from Rs 102.72 crore. Employee benefits expense in the quarter under review increased 18.4 per cent y-o-y to Rs 34.81 crore from Rs 29.40 crore in Q 2019. The company’s marketing promotion and distribution expenses in Q1 2019 increased 53.8 per cent to Rs 20.14 crore from Rs 13.9 crore in the year ago quarter.

Advertising and publicity expenses in the year declined 1.4 per cent y-o-y to Rs 3.05 crore from Rs 3.09 crore. Operating costs in Q1 2019 increased 28.6 per cent to Rs 25.49 crore from Rs 19.83 crore. Other expenses in Q1 2019 increased 40.2 per cent to Rs 37.74 crore from Rs 26.95 crore in Q1 2018.

Lower loss reported by Diligent Media Limited (DNA)

In a separate filing with the bourses, Diligent Media Corporation Ltd (Diligent Media), which comprises of the divested print media business of ZMCL and the amalgamation of Mediavest and Pri-Media into itself, reported lower loss for Q1 2019 at Rs 14.52 crore as compared to Rs 44.49 crore for Q1 2018. The company’s revenue from operations increased marginally by 2.2 per cent y-o-y in Q 2019 to Rs 26.02 crore from Rs 25.45 crore in the year ago quarter. The company owns the broadsheet newspaper DNA (Daily News and Analysis)

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