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ALT-Balaji a ray of hope in a productionless Covid quarter for Balaji Telefilms

Balaji Telefilms reported standalone loss of Rs 1.4 crore

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BENGALURU: The most successful television content and film production house in India, the Shobha Kapoor and Ektaa Kapoor led Balaji Telefilms Limited (Balaji) reported a standalone loss of Rs 1.40 crore on a standalone operating revenue of Rs 21.17 crore for the quarter ended 30 June 2020 (Q1 2021, quarter or period under review). Balaji reported a consolidated loss of Rs 27.9 crore for the period under review per an investor presentation. For the corresponding year ago quarter (Q1 2020), Balaji had reported consolidated loss of Rs 42.2 crore on consolidated operating revenue of Rs 90.5 crore. Balaji had reported standalone profit of Rs 10.43 crore in Q1 2020 on a standalone revenue of Rs 116.07 crore. Consolidated EBIDTA for Q1 2021 was a loss of Rs 26.30 crore as compared to a loss of Rs 32.33 crore for Q1 2020.

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Hit by a halt in all production during most of Q1 2021, Balaji has reported consolidated operating revenue of Rs 35.1 crore. A big chunk of the operating revenue – Rs 14.9 crore, came in from Balaji Telefilms OTT platform ALT-Balaji. The company says in a press release that ALT-Balaji subscription revenue increased to Rs 12.9 crore in Q1 2021, while for Q1 2020, ALT Balaji’s reported subscription revenue of Rs 6.7 crore.

Segment revenue

Commissioned programmes

Revenue from Balaji’s commissioned programmes during the quarter under review was less than one-twentieth of the revenue for the corresponding year ago quarter. Balaji reported operating revenue for its Commissioned programmes segment at Rs 4.10 crore for Q1 2021 which was 95.6 percent lower than the Rs 93.17 crore in Q1 2020. The segment reported an operating loss of Rs 6.33 crore in Q1 2021 as compared to an operating profit of Rs 9.67 crore in Q1 2020.

Films segment

Revenue from Balaji’s Films segment was 17.49 crore in Q1 2021 as compared to Rs 1.67 crore in Q1 2020. The segment had an operating profit of Rs 5.27 crore as compared to a small loss of Rs 0.10 crore in Q1 2020.

Digital segment (ALT-Balaji)

Revenue from Balaji’s Digital segment (OTT segment – ALT-Balaji) in Q1 2021 increased 20.9 percent to Rs 14.90 crore as compared to Rs 12.33 crore in Q1 2020. The segment had a lower operating loss of Rs 25.79 crore in Q1 2021 as compared to an operating loss of Rs 36.83 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter.

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Let us look at the other numbers reported by Balaji

Consolidated total income for Q1 2021 at Rs 40.79 crore was 56 percent lower y-o-y as compared to Rs 92.75 crore. Consolidated total expenses for Q1 2021 fell 48.2 percent y-o-y to Rs 69.57 crore from Rs 134.30 crore.

Consolidated cost of production declined 69 percent in Q1 2021 to Rs 26.53 crore as compared to Rs 85.69 crore in Q1 2020. Consolidated marketing and distribution expenses in Q1 2021 declined 47.6 percent to Rs 6.07 crore from Rs 11.57 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Consolidated employee benefits expense in Q1 2021 declined 53.9 percent to Rs 5.52 crore from Rs 11.08 crore in Q1 2020. Consolidated other expenses in Q1 2020 reduced 32.9 percent to Rs 13.20 crore from Rs 19.68 crore in Q1 2020.

Company speak

Balaji Telefilms Limited managing director Shobha Kapoor said through a press release, “The quarter has been particularly challenging as all content production activity came to a stop. However, our digital businesses have performed well and we are well positioned to grow that business. We remain confident that our TV business will return to more normal levels of content production as our teams have adapted to shooting under the new rules following all health and safety requirements, we now have 6 shows on air and a couple more in the pipeline. We have initiated several cost optimisation programs during the quarter and should continue to see the benefits of these programs as content production volumes return.”

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