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Operating margin, sub revenue prop up Siti financials

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BENGALURU: Backed by higher subscription and carriage revenue, Indian multi-systems operator (MSO) Siti Networks Ltd (Siti) has posted 19.4 percent higher consolidated total income for the quarter ended 31 December 2017 (Q3 2018, the quarter under review) as compared with the corresponding year ago quarter. Total comprehensive loss (TCL) for the quarter was slightly lower as compared to the year ago and the immediate trailing quarters. Siti’s consolidated total income in Q3 2018 was Rs 364.85 crore as against Rs 305.54 crore for Q3 2017. TCL, including non-controlling interest during the quarter under review, was Rs 32.51 crore as compared with Rs 33.15 crore in Q3 2017.

Siti’s subscription revenue in Q3 2018 increased by 43.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rs 211.8 crore from Rs 147.5 crore. Carriage income for the period improved by 14.2 percent to Rs 82.9 crore from Rs 72.6 crore. The company’s activation and broadband revenue, however, declined yoy. Activation revenue in Q3 2018 at Rs 27.7 crore was 40.8 percent lower yoy than the Rs 46.8 crore in Q3 2017.

Siti’s overall EBIDTA, including other income during the quarter under review, increased by 24.9 percent yoy to Rs 77.56 crore from Rs 62.09 crore. Operating EBIDTA (EBIDTA excluding activation) in Q3 2018 more than doubled yoy (increased by 2.26 times) to Rs 49.86 crore from Rs 15.29 crore.

Siti’s cable TV (video) subscriber base increased by 22,000 in Q3 2018 to 1.132 crore from 1.110 crore in Q3 2017. The company added 4.6 lakh digital subscribers during the quarter. Its HD subscriber base increased by 46,000 to 2.90 lakh whereas the broadband subscriber base grew by 9,000 to 2.47 lakh in Q3 2018.

While commenting on the results, Siti chief business transformation officer, Rajesh Sethi, said, “Our sustained focus on building operating efficiencies at SITI, coupled with an agile and process-driven work force, has driven our EBITDA growth this quarter to Rs 77.5 crore. Our operating EBITDA margin has expanded 2.5 times yoy to 14.8 percent, which is a testament to the successes we have been achieving in this transformation.”

“We are hopeful about the impending implementation of the new tariff order, which will give our customers the right to choose while improving profitability through cost optimisation,” added Sethi.

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Siti

Total expenditure increased by 17.6 percent yoy to Rs 402.11 crore from Rs 341.97 crore. Finance costs reduced by 13.1 percent yoy to Rs 31.26 crore from Rs 35.97 crore. Carriage sharing, pay channel and related costs rose by 18.2 percent yoy to Rs 1170.62 crore in Q3 2018 from Rs 144.40 crore. Employee benefits expense in the quarter under review increased by 18 percent yoy to Rs 22.50 crore from Rs 19.07 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter. Other expenses grew by 16 percent y-o-y in Q3 2018 to Rs 92.79 crore from Rs 79.96 crore.

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