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Siti Networks reports improved numbers for FY 2020

Simple EBIDTA was up 5.3%, loss reduced to Rs 188 crore from Rs 264 crore

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BENGALURU: The Essel group’s MSO major Siti Networks Limited reported 5.3 percent higher consolidated simple EBIDTA for the year ended 31 March 2020 (FY 2020, year or period under review) as compared to the previous year FY 2019. The company reported a 12.2 percent increase in operating revenue for the period under review as compared to the previous year. All numbers mentioned in this report are consolidated unless stated otherwise.

The company has managed to reduce its major expenses, but for Pay Channel, Carriage Sharing & Related Costs (pay channel costs) in FY 2020 which increased 29 percent as compared to the previous year. Overall expenses increased 7.7 percent on account of these pay channel costs. In a note to the financial statements, Siti has explained that its operating revenue includes broadcaster share of subscription revenue, hence it has shown the broadcasters share in its pay channel costs as an expense.

In its earnings release, Siti says that Subscription Revenue for Q4 2020 grew 25.3 percent y-o-y to Rs. 2,842 million. For FY 2020, Subscription Revenue surged 21.3 percent to Rs.11,567 million.

The consolidated operating revenue figures reported by Siti are Rs 1,618.59 crore and Rs 1,442.13 crore for FY 2020 and FY 2019 respectively, hence a growth of 12.2 percent as mentioned above. Simple EBIDTA as calculated by the author for FY 2020 was Rs 340.64 crore (21 percent of operating revenue) and for FY 2019 it was Rs 323.61 crore (22.4 percent of operating revenue). Loss for the year under review reduced to Rs 188 crore from Rs 264 crore in the previous year.

For Q4 2020, Siti’s consolidated operating revenue was Rs 27.8 percent higher y-o-y at Rs 408.29 crore as compared to Rs 415.06 crore in Q4 2019. Simple EBIDTA for Q4 2020 as calculated by the author increased 22.1 percent to Rs 81.58 crore (20 percent of operating revenue) from Rs 66.78 crore (20.9 percent of operating revenue). Loss for the quarter was lower at Rs 70.30 crore as compared to a loss of Rs 123.93 for Q4 2019.

CEO of Siti CEO Anil Malhotra mentioned: “SITI Networks continued its consistent growth focus while maintaining a strict control on operational efficiencies during FY 2020. Our subscription revenue for Q4 2020 grew by 25.3 percent y-o-y, while our total revenue grew by approximately 23 percent y-o-y. Even for FY 2020, our total revenue jumped by 15.3 percent to Rs. 16,354 million. Our constant mantra of improving operational efficiencies while improving monetization helped us to deliver strong operating EBITDA at INR 3,538 million, in FY 2020, a surge of 1.2 times. Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has been widely appreciated. Our teams and partners have left no stone unturned to ensure that our customers get the best services."

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Siti

Total expense in FY 2020 increased 7.7 percent to Rs 1,781,33 crore from Rs 1,654,21 crore in the previous year. Amongst the major expense heads, Pay Channel, Carriage Share & Related Costs increased 29 percent in FY 2020 to Rs 843.96 crore from Rs 654.14 crore in FY 2019. Finance costs in FY 2020 declined 7.6 percent to Rs 157.68 crore from Rs 170.72 crore in FY 2019. Employee benefits expense in FY 2020 declined 8 percent to Rs 74.78 crore from Rs 81.32 crore in the previous year. Other expenses in FY 2020 declined 5.6 percent to Rs 357.70 crore from Rs 378.79 crore in FY 2019.

Total expense in Q4 2020 increased 16.7 percent to Rs 451.03 crore from Rs 386.39 crore in Q4 2019. Amongst the major expense heads, Pay Channel, Carriage Share & Related Costs increased 47.9 percent in Q4 2020 to Rs 212.82 crore from Rs 143.94 crore. Finance costs in Q4 2020 declined 20.5 percent to Rs 35.52 crore from Rs 44,66 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter. Employee benefits expense in Q4 2020 declined 9.4 percent to Rs 16.95 crore from Rs 18.71 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Other expenses in Q4 2020 increased 9.1 percent to Rs 96.53 crore from Rs 88.44 crore in Q4 2019.

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