Balaji Telefilms net realization for programs improves

BENGALURU: The Ekta Kapoor led Balaji Telefilms Limited (Balaji Telefilms) had 8 shows on air at the end of the financial year 2017 (FY-17, current year, year ended 31 March 2017) on various channels in the country. The company in its investor presentation says that the net realization per hour for its programmes increased 17 percent to Rs 2.89 million in FY-17 as compared to Rs 2.47 million in the previous fiscal. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company had had 11 shows on air, 3 of which went off air before the end of FY-16.

The company created 960 hours of television programming in the current year, 4.2 percent lower than the 1,002 hours it had created in the previous year. Revenue from Balaji Telefilms from commissioned programmes segment increased 11.4 percent to Rs 2,899.11 million in FY-17 from Rs 2,602.18 million in the previous year. The segment reported 11.2 percent lower operating profit of Rs 395.92 million in FY-17 as compared to the Rs 445.81 million in FY-16.

The segment’s soaps such like Kumkum Bhagya on various channels of the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Network Limited (Zeel) and Naagin 2 (The Network 18/Viacom 18 Network) have consistently been in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly top five programmes lists across the Hindi GEC urban and rural markets in India.

Balaji Telefilms other major segment – Films revenue more than quadrupled (went up 4.62 times) in FY-17 to Rs 1,263.30 million in the current year as compared to Rs 224.90 million in the previous year. The segment reported a higher operating loss at Rs 249.01 million in FY-17 as compared to an operating loss of Rs 134.35 million in fiscal 2016. The company says that piracy of its movies released in FY17 led to loss of revenues against marketing and productions costs already incurred which has severely affected its profitability in this period. It estimates loss of revenue on account of piracy at approximately Rs 360 million.

The company’s consolidated Total Income from Operations (TIO) increased 43.4 percent to Rs 4,389.44 million in the current year as compared to Rs 3,060.18 million in FY-16. The company reported to a higher net loss of Rs 297.35 million in fiscal 2017 as compared to a net loss of Rs 35.80 million in the previous year. Balaji Telefilms reported an Operating loss (EBIDTA) of Rs 181 million for FY-17 as compared to an operating profit of Rs 53 million in FY-17.

Balaji Telefilms consolidated total expenses for FY-17 increased 54.3 percent to Rs 4,581.23 million from Rs 2,969.65 million in the previous year. Cost of production/acquisition and telecast fees increased 2.7 percent to Rs 3,147.26 million from Rs 3,064.98 million in the previous year. Employee Benefits Expense in FY-17 increased 40.8 percent to Rs 283.43 million from Rs 201.36 million in FY-16. The company’s finance costs in FY-17 was Rs 0.36 million as compared to Rs 0.09 million in the previous year. Other expenses in FY-17 increased 2.3 percent to Rs 413.44 million from Rs 404.01 million in FY-16.

Balaji Telefilms says that it will transition from a B2B business to a Digital B2C business. It plans to build a digital B2C business through own and curated content. The company has launched its OTT platform ALT Balaji in April 2017. Balaji Telefilms says that ALT Balaji will soon have 32 new shows and 250 hours of original exclusive content in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and Punjabi.

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