Viacom18 Q1 loss on new broadcast biz, motion pictures

Viacom18 Q1 loss on new broadcast biz, motion pictures

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MUMBAI: Viacom18, a joint venture of Network18 Group and US-based Viacom, has suffered losses for the fourth straight quarter, dragged down by new channel launches and its motion pictures business.

The loss for the fiscal first-quarter have, however, narrowed from the trailing quarter as revenue has started flowing from these channels. The increase in its expenses during the quarter ended June 30, 2012 was on account Rs 711 million spent on its earlier-shelved Hindi movie channel (against no expenses a year ago), a 53 per cent increase in its marketing and distribution costs to Rs 1.03 billion from Rs 674 million a year earlier.

The company reported a net loss in the first quarter of 2012-13 against a small profit a year earlier, due to losses in the motion pictures and new broadcasting businesses.

Viacom18, which owns a group of entertainment channels including flagship Hindi entertainment channel Colors, posted a net loss of Rs 249 million in the first quarter against a profit of Rs 26 million a year earlier. In the fourth quarter of 2011-12, the broadcaster had reported a net loss of Rs 337 million.

The company reported operating losses of Rs 166 million from new broadcasting operations and Rs 153 million from motion pictures business. Operating profit of Rs 238 million came from Viacom18?s continuing broadcasting operations.

Viacom18 said, "Our continuing business, including new operations, grew at about 12 per cent over the corresponding quarter last year. Colors turned in another steady quarter in the Hindi GEC space in a highly competitive market environment. It continues to be the No. 2 channel during weekday prime time with 5 shows that are slot leaders in their respective slots."

The operating losses in new broadcasting operations and motion pictures business pulled down the company?s overall operating profit by 87 per cent to Rs 24 million in the first quarter from Rs 189 million a year earlier.

The discontinued HMC and The Indian Film Company businesses earned the company operating profit of Rs 105 million against a loss of Rs 28 million, primarily because of the revenue flow of Rs 911 million from the sale of a library of 500 movies to Star India in January.

Viacom18?s total operating revenues were up 44 per cent in the first quarter of 2012-13 to Rs 4.0 billion (which included revenue realised from sale of the movie library) from Rs 2.76 billion a year earlier.

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