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Eros International Plc reports massive bottomline gains for third quarter

BENGALURU: Eros International Plc (Eros) reported more than a 15 fold (15.4  fold) increase in operating profits for the quarter ended 31 December 2016 (Q3-17, current quarter) as compared to corresponding year ago quarter. Operating profit in the current quarter was $8.2 million as compared to just $0.5 million in Q3-16. The company reported Net Income of $11.5 million as compared to a loss of $2.5 million in the corresponding year ago quarter.

The company’s topline (revenues) however declined 5.3 percent year-over-year to $57.3 million in the current quarter from $60.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA in Q3-17 increased by 62.9 percent to $14.5 million, compared to $8.9 million in the prior year period.

Eros explains that the strong increase in margins and profitability vis-à-vis the slight decline in revenues was due to the negative impact of demonetisation on theatrical revenues in the third quarter partially offset by strong high-margin catalogue sales.

Company speak

Eros managing director and group CEO Jyoti Deshpande said, “I am very proud of the progress we have made over the past few months on our journey to transform our Company into a leading global digital distribution business supported by the power of our brand, premium content and unparalleled distribution capabilities. The momentum we highlighted in November continues to accelerate with the growing success of Eros Now, our OTT platform which reached 58 million registered users and crossed 2 million paying subscribers in December 2016.

As we discussed in our Q2 results last November, the rapidly evolving digital media landscape in India including increased competition from Western OTT players for digital rights has underscored the value of digital content in India. It also reinforces our overall strategy to focus on premium content with the widest possible appeal. In the long term the rising value of digital rights will make our existing content library more valuable and increase the demand for our new release digital content across all platforms – including satellite and cable.

The demonetisation efforts undertaken by the Indian Government in November have clearly had a short-term impact on many aspects of the Indian economy, especially consumer discretionary spending. To that end while the entire media sector in India has been temporarily impacted by these measures, we feel that the underlying push to digitisation will directly and indirectly benefit our company going forward in many ways. We have been working tirelessly to provide consumers with multiple payment options for Eros Now, from telco billing to digital wallets to mobile payment providers. The push to digitisation reinforces our strategy and we feel we are well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.

Finally, our strong upcoming production slate of over 50 films has gone through a stringent green-lighting process for several months. The upcoming lineup includes highly promising projects including five films from Trinity, two Indo‐China co‐productions, a Shah Rukh Khan film from Color Yellow, two sequels from our own content stable like Vicky Donor-2, Badlapur-2, Munna Michael starring Tiger Shroff and Chanda Mama Door Ke starring Sushant Singh, amongst others.”

ErosNow

The company says that Eros International’s OTT Platform ErosNow has over 20 lakh (2 million) subscribers worldwide, it has 5.8 crore (58 million) registered users worldwide across WAPP, APP and the web. The platform has rights to over 5,000 films, 250,000 audio tracks with 13 music labels providing music content.

The company says that Eros Now has integration deals around the world with over 20 different telecom operators and nine different OEMs and connected devices. Further, over the past four months Eros Now has digitally premiered more than 15 films from the Eros International new release slate. Eros Now’s original content offering began with the release of 'Salute Siachen', India's first ever celebrity high endurance expedition to the Siachen Glacier. In addition, Eros Now originals such as Flesh by Siddharth Anand, Smoke and Side Hero will be launched in FY-18.

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