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ErosNow targets subscriber base of 5 cr; fuels Eros International growth

It closed Q3 2019 with a paying subscriber base of 15.9 million.

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BENGALURU: Eros International Plc (Eros International) reported its strongest quarterly performance ever over two year for the three months ended 31 December 2018 (Q3 2019). The company in its investor release says that it closed Q3 2019 with a paying subscriber base of 15.9 million or 1.59 crore. The company says that it is targeting 50 million (5 crore) paying subscribers in the next three years.

“Our digital & ancillary business generated $35.6 million in revenue, a growth of 31.4 percent over last quarter, and represented 46.4 percent of our total revenue this quarter – the largest proportion ever. Eros Now achieved 15.9 million paid subscribers this quarter, which represents growth of 218 percent year-over-year, and registered users grew to more than 142 million, (14.2 crore) a 78 percent increase versus the prior year period.

Eros International is currently at an inflection point transforming itself into a holistic content and digital ecosystem. As we continue to undergo this shift we expect the skew of digital and ancilliary revenues to increase relative to our traditional theatrical and TV syndication businesses. The shift to digital will increase the visibility of our earnings as we move towards a more annuity-type business model – higher quality of earnings and more sustainable growth.” Eros International is listed in the New York Stock Exchange.

To that extent the company says that it has built its digital catalogue on the Eros Now Platform to over 12,000 movies across 10 Indian languages and counting.

The company is also looking at music to help ramp up revenues. The music ecosystem in India has been growing exponentially over the past few years. In India there are currently over 100 million (10 crore) digital audio streaming users, a number which is growing rapidly says Eros International. Music is integral to its films and its premium content offering to consumers claims Eros. Film music is often marketed and monetised separate from the underlying film, both before and after release. The company says that its deep music library comprises a key component to our unique ErosNow offering, being the only app combining both video and music entertainment. Eros International feels that its  music content also represents significant value in the form of intellectual property rights, the value of which is set to grow over time.

Company speak

Eros executive chairman and CEO Kishore Lulla commented, “We grew quarterly revenue 21.0 percent over last quarter and expanded our Adjusted EBITDA margin to 40.9 percent. Our foresight into creating a diversified slate, both linguistically and by budget, helped deliver strong television sales as well as theatrical and digital results. Our ErosNow OTT platform has continued to grow rapidly and reached 15.9 million paid monthly subscribers as of December 31, 2018, a 22.3 percent increase over last quarter. We have achieved our previously announced year-end target of 16 million paying subscribers in just nine months. This tremendous achievement in a relatively short period of time demonstrates that we are well on our way to achieving 50 million (5 crore) paying subscribers in the next three years. Our balance sheet remains conservative and we are well-capitalised, with net debt of $159.1 million, a decrease versus the second quarter of FY 2019."

Let us look at the numbers reported by Eros International as mentioned in its earnings release.

Eros reported gross revenue for three and nine months ended 31 December 2018, respectively are $86.6 million and $225.6 million compared to $67.5 million and $193.7 million for the three and nine months ended 31 December 2017, respectively. Gross revenue for the three and nine months ended 31 December 2018, respectively, have been adjusted towards significant financing component on account of adoption of new accounting pronouncements says Eros International.

Eros reported revenue for three and nine months ended 31 December 2018 are $76.7 million and $200.4 million, respectively, compared to $65.2 million and $189.3 million for the three and nine months ended 31 December 2017, respectively.

For the three months ended 31 December 2018, the aggregate revenues from digital and ancillary increased by 55.5 percent to $35.6 million from $22.9 million for the three months ended 31 December 2017 and in the nine months ended 31 December 2018, revenue increased by 41.0 percent to $89.4 million, compared to $63.4 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2017. The increase in revenue is primarily on account of contribution from catalogue revenues and digital business.

Revenue from India increased by 27.4 percent to $28.4 million in the three months ended 31 December 2018, compared to $22.3 million in the three months ended 31 December 2018 and in the nine months ended 31 December 2018, revenue from India increased by 3.8 percent to $75.8 million, compared to $73.0 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2018. The variation is due to mix of films.

Revenue from Europe increased by 141.2 percent to $12.3 million in the three months ended 31 December 2018, compared to $5.1 million in the three months ended 31 December 2017 and in the nine months ended 31 December 2018, revenue from Europe increased by 118.8 percent to $43.1 million, compared to $19.7 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2017. This was due to higher contribution from the monetisation of catalogue films.

Revenue from North America increased by 700.0 percent to $0.8 million in the three months ended 31 December 2018, compared to $0.1 million in the three months ended 31 December 2017 and in the nine months ended 31 December 2018, revenue from North America increased by 114.3 percent to $1.5 million, compared to $0.7 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2017.

Revenue from the rest of the world decreased by 6.6 percent to $35.2 million in the three months ended 31 December 2018, compared to $37.7 million in the three months ended 31 December 2017 and in the nine months ended 31 December 2018, revenue from rest of world decreased by 16.6 percent to $80.0 million, compared to $95.9 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2017. This was due to lower catalogue sales during the period.

For the three months ended 31 December 2018, adjusted EBITDA increased by 21.2 percent to $31.4 million compared to $25.9 million in the three months ended 31 December 2017.

The increase in adjusted EBITDA was on account strong catalogue sales which was partially offset by increases in amortisation, marketing, advertising and distribution costs for three months ended 31 December 2018.

In the nine months ended 31 December 2018, adjusted EBITDA increased by 39.0 percent to $81.9 million, compared to $58.9 million for the nine months ended 31 December 2017.

Releases reported by Eros in its earnings release

In the three months ended December 31, 2018, the Eros film slate was comprised of 25 films, of which two were medium budget and 23 were low budget as compared to four films in the three months ended December 31, 2017, of which all were low budget films. In addition, Eros Now released three original series titled Smoke, Date Gone Wrong and Paisa Fek Tamasha Dekh during the three months ended December 31, 2018.

In the three months ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s slate of 25 films comprised of six Hindi films, 17 regional films and two Tamil/Telugu as compared to the same period last year where its slate of four films comprised three Hindi films and one regional film.

In the nine months ended December 31, 2018, the Eros film slate was comprised of 56 films of which seven were medium budget and 49 were low budget films as compared to 16 films in the nine months ended December 31, 2017, of which one film was high budget, three were medium budget and twelve were low budget. In addition, Eros Now released four original series titled Side Hero, Smoke, Date Gone Wrong and Paisa Fek Tamasha Dekh during the nine months ended December 31, 2018

In the nine months ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s slate of 56 films comprised of 14 Hindi films, five Tamil/Telugu film and 37 regional films as compared to the same period last year where its slate of 16 films comprised of eight Hindi films, one Tamil/Telugu films and seven regional films.

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