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GTPL cable TV business revenue up; broadband business keeps afloat

It reported 12.6 percent increase in total income.

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BENGALURU: Indian multi-system operator and internet service provider GTPL Hathway Ltd (GTPL) reported 12.6 percent increase in total income for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q3 2019, quarter or period under review) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (y-o-y) Q3 2018. GTPL’s Total Income in Q3 2019 was Rs 319.91 crore, for the corresponding year ago quarter it was Rs 284.09 crore.

GTPL has two segments – cable TV business and internet service. Every Indian broadband internet services provider has been hit by Jio. Reliance Jio Infocomm has made available low cost broadband internet services at a never before scale in India, unprecedented anywhere in the world. Most operators have been bleeding subscribers, and how! ARPUs have plummeted.

GTPL’s internet service business has been reporting a steep decline in operating profits over the past few quarters. In Q3-2019, GTPL’s internet business was still profitable. And the company has reported that its internet subscriber base increased by 11,000 for the period under review, however at lower ARPU. For Q3 2019, internet business ARPU was Rs 430 as compared to Rs 487 in Q3 2018.

GTPPL’s consolidated profit after tax (PAT) increased 3.1 percent y-o-y in Q3 2019 to Rs 19.72 crore from Rs 19.13 crore in Q3 2018. Consolidated total comprehensive income for the period increased 2.4 percent y-o-y to Rs 19.72 crore from Rs 19.26 crore. Consolidated operating profit (EBITDA) excluding other income was almost flat – it declined 0.8 percent y-o-y in Q3 2019 to Rs 77.89 crore (24.8 percent of operating or op revenue) from Rs 78.53 crore (27.8 percent of op revenue) in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

Segment Performance

Cable TV business operating result increased 20.1 percent y-o-y to Rs 19.35 crore in Q3 2019 from Rs 816.11 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Operating revenue of GTPL’s cable TV business increased 14.7 percent y-o-y to Rs 278.06 crore from Rs 242.4 crore.

 GTPL’s TV business added 2,00,000 CATV digital subscribers in Q3 2019, 1,70,000 of which it says were paying subscribers. The company says that it had seeded 3,00,000 set-top boxes during the quarter under review. In all GTPL says that it seeded 0.95 crore STBs, of which 0.8 crore were active and 0.745 crore were digital paying subscribers as of 31 December 2018. GTPL’s largest subscriber base is in phase IV areas. Digital paying subscriber bases for phases I, II, III and IV were 0.066 crore, 0.169 crore, 0.226 crore and 0.283 crore respectively. ARPUs remained flat y-o-y across all the four DAS phases. ARPUs net of taxes for phases I, II, III and IV were Rs 103, Rs 102, Rs 67 and Rs 60 respectively.

GTPL’s internet business operating revenue in Q3 2019 was almost flat - it increased 1.1 percent y-o-y to Rs 36.44 crore from Rs 36.03 crore. Internet service segment’s operating results for Q3 2019 declined by 87.9 percent y-o-y to just Rs 0.37 crore from Rs 3.03 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

GTPL says in a press release that during the quarter, it was appointed as Project Implementation Agency (PIA) of Package B for implementation of BharatNet Phase - II Project in the state of Gujarat by Gujarat Fibre Grid Network Limited (GFGNL). The company says that the project is worth Rs 1,245.77 crore. The project is on EPC bases and includes survey, design, plan, execution with active/passive (OSP + Electronics) components with commissioning of complete network.

Let us look at the other numbers reported by GTPL Hathway

Consolidated total expenditure increased 16.3 percent y-o-y during the quarter under review to Rs 289.05 crore from Rs 248.59 crore in Q3 2018. Pay channel cost in Q3 2019 increased 26.5 percent y-o-y to Rs 137.72 crore from Rs 108.90 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Other operational costs reduced 16.5 percent y-o-y in Q3 2019 to Rs 23.99 crore from Rs 20.64 crore in Q3 2018.

Employee benefits expense in Q3 2019 increased 18.9 percent y-o-y to Rs 37.63 crore from Rs 31.64 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. Finance costs reduced 20 percent y-o-y during the quarter under review to Rs 5.86 crore from Rs 7.32 crore. Other expenses in the period reduced 3.7 percent y-o-y to Rs 37.28 crore in Q3 2019 from Rs 38.72 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Company Speak

GTPL Hathway managing director Anirudhasinhji Jadeja said in a press release, “In an environment of uncertainty, GTPL Hathway has continued to post steady performance. Our first 9 month revenue and PAT are up by 14 percent and 10 percent respectively; reflecting inherent strength of the company’s offerings and quality customer service. The new tariff order has put customers at the centre of the business; providing them freedom to make their own choices. As India’s one of the leading MSOs, we expect higher monetisation across the phases and better transparency as a direct fall out of the new order.”

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