Print business demerger: Zee Media awaits National Company Law Tribunal approval

MUMBAI: Essel group company Zee Media Corp had got shareholder approval earlier this year to demerge its print media business which includes its newspaper DNA into Diligent Media Corp Ltd (DMCL) and merge two other firms - Mediavest India Pvt Ltd and Pri-Media Services Pvt into - DMCL. The exercise of restructuring would become effective 1 April 2017 and finally see DMCL being listed on the stock exchanges at a later date.

The company yesterday announced - during the release of its latest Q4 2017 and financial year 2017 financial results - that the demerger is awaiting the go-ahead of the National Company Law Tribunal.

According to its latest financial results, Zee Media notched up a healthy 27.3 per cent growth in advertising revenues over the previous corresponding year’s quarter to Rs 1403.7 million in the latest quarter and a 13.7 per cent growth in the full fiscal to Rs 4553.8 million. The spike in advertising revenues came despite the slowdown in ad spends, courtesy demonetisation, and can be attributed to the ad spends by political parties in the assembly elections which took place in the period after January 2017.

Zee Media took a hit of 27.2 per cent on subscription revenues in Q4 to Rs 115.3 million and of 43.8 per cent in the full fiscal to Rs 575.3 million.

Its total revenue in Q4 2017 grew 17.5 per cent to Rs 1559.6 million, while its FY2017 was dragged down by the lower subscription revenues to show a growth of just 1.3 per cent to Rs 5508.2 million.

Higher marketing costs of Rs 208.4 million (a growth of 190.7 per cent) to promote and distribute its new channel WION in Q4 2017 saw its expenses rise 31.5 per cent in the quarter. Its full-year expenses however rose only 3.8 per cent to Rs 4819 million as its marketing expenses shaved by 15.1 per cent in FY 2017.

Its profit after tax for Q4 2017 fell 71.2 per cent Rs 53.6 million while it registered a higher loss of Rs 160.6 million for the full fiscal (Rs 45.4 million in FY2016).

For further detailed financial analysis, please log in a little later today.

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