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Piracy severely dents Balaji consolidated numbers in Q2-17

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BENGALURU: Despite almost doubling of year-over-year consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter), Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms Limited (Balaji) reported a consolidated loss of Rs 28 crore, as compared to Profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 3.92 crore for the corresponding year ago quarter. The company attributes higher revenue to four films it released in the half year ended 30 September 2016 (H!-17, current half-year) as compared to no releases in H1-16. Balaji says in its investor presentation that piracy of its movies Great Grand Masti and Udta Punjab led to an approximate loss of Rs 36 crore in revenues, severely impacting its profitability in the period.

The company reported 1.92 times higher revenue (TIO) in the current quarter at Rs 105.91 crore as compared to Rs 55.08 crore in Q2-16, and comparatively, just a little lower than the Rs 117.38 crore in the immediate trailing quarter Q1-17.

Consolidated operating loss (negative EBIDTA) in Q2-17 was Rs 26.18 crore as compared to an operating profit (positive EBIDTA) in Q2-16 of Rs 6.33 crore.

On a standalone basis, Balaji Telefilms Limited (BTL) – the television arm reported lower a net profit of Rs 4.4 crore in the current quarter versus Rs 6.6 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter. Standalone revenues for Q2-17 and Q2-16 were Rs 61.2 crore and Rs 53.2 crore respectively.

Revenue from BTL’s Commissioned Programs segment in Q2-17 was Rs 60.9 crore, while for Q2-16 it was Rs 48.3 crore. Programming hours for Q2-17 were 231 hours, significantly higher than the 199 hours reported for the corresponding year ago quarter. Net realisation per hour in Q2-17 was higher at Rs 26.3 lakh as compared to Rs 24.2 lakh in Q2-16. Gross margin and gross margin per hour were lower at Rs 14.7 crore and Rs 6.4 lakh in Q2-17 as compared to Rs 16.9 crore and Rs 8.5 lakh in Q2-16 respectively.

Balaji says that increase in programming hours in this quarter was due to certain special episodes being commissioned during the quarter for its daily soaps; realisation per hour has improved due to better episodic fees; Gross margins have improved this quarter and will continue to improve once the newer shows stabilise. Shows launched post Q2-17 were Naagin 2 on Colors, Chandra Nandni and Pardes Mein Hai Meraa Dill on Star Plus.

Revenue from Balaji’s digital business – ALT- was Nil as the company is getting ready to launch commercial services in early Q4 FY17. Other Income from ALT was Rs 3.3 crore in the current quarter as compared to Nil in Q2-16.

Revenue from Balaj’s movie business for Q2-17 was Rs 43.2 crore against Rs 1.6 crore in Q2-16. The movie business had an operating loss of Rs 28 crore in the current quarter. Operating loss in the corresponding year ago quarter was Rs 4.2 crore. Total amount invested as of 30 September 2016 in movies that are under production was Rs 44.1 crore says the company.

Total Expenditure in the current quarter almost tripled (by 2.94 times) y-o-y at Rs 134.96 crore (127.4 percent of TIO) as compared to Rs 45.85 crore (83.2 percent of TIO) in Q2-16. Cost of Production/Acquisition and Telecast Fees in Q2-17 was Rs 78.55 crore (74.2 percent of TIO), 2.1 percent lower than Rs 80.22 crore (145.6 percent of TIO) in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Marketing and distribution expense in Q2-17 increased to Rs 19.55 crore as compared to Rs 0.16 crore in Q2-16. Employee Benefit Expense in the current quarter increased 36/9 percent y-o-y to Rs 6.81 crore (6/4 percent of TIO) as compared to Rs 4.97 crore (9 percent of TIO) in Q2-16. Other expenditure in Q2-17 increased 33.8 percent y-o-y to Rs 9.42 crore as compared to Rs 7/04 crore.

Note: The unit of currency in this report is the Indian rupee - Rs (also conventionally represented by INR). The Indian numbering system or the Vedic numbering system has been used to denote money values. The basic conversion to the international norm would be:

(a) 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10,000,000 = 10 million = 1 crore.

(b) 10,000 lakh = 100 crore = 1 arab = 1 billion.

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