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Balaji Telefilms Q3: Operating profit up, EBITDA loss narrows

AltBalaji had highest ever subs with 1.6 million new adds.

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MUMBAI: Media and content powerhouse Balaji Telefilms reported a 35 per cent surge in operating profit to Rs 105.5 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December 2020. EBITDA loss stood at Rs 24 crore versus Rs 12.4 crore in the preceding quarter. The company in a regulatory filing has stated that the net loss after tax was Rs 31.6 crore vs Rs 19.5 crore in Q2. Also, there is short term receivables in movies of Rs 10 crore. The total balance stands at Rs 158 crore.

The report also stated that in the nine month period ended December 2019, the production house had 625 hours of content production vis 361 hours in the same period in 2020 – showing a decline of average realisation from Rs 0.36 crore to Rs 0.31 crore per hour

It’s video streaming platform AltBalaji added the highest ever subscribers in Q3 with 1.6 million subscription sold. The company has been aggressively driving deeper audience engagement and reducing subscriber churn and is adding over 20,000 subscribers a day. Active subscribers at the end of December 2020 was at 2.1million vs 1.2 million at the start of the quarter. The platform added nine new content offerings in the quarter for a total of 74 shows. As a result, it has increased the marketing spend for AltBalaji on the back of increased show releases.

Balaji Telefilms MD Shobha Kapoor said, “AltBalaji has added the highest ever 1.6 million subscribers this quarter which shows the strong demand for the mass content that we create for Indian audiences. I believe we will continue to see strong subscriber additions in coming quarters as we continue to develop the right and relevant content for our audience and have a very strong content line-up under production. Our TV business has seen a good recovery in terms of production hours and we hope to maintain this momentum through the new year. In the movie business, production for some of the exciting projects will start soon and we are closely monitoring the availability for theatrical releases. Overall, I am confident of the coming quarters and working on a lot of exciting content.”

TV production has re-started and the company has adapted to all laid out SOPs. Fouur shows are running through the quarter – Kumkum Bhagya and Kundali Bhagya on Zee TV, Yeh Hai Chhatein on Star Plus and Naagin5 on Colors. New properties launched in the quarter include Prem Bandhan on Dangal, Molkki on Colors and Brahmarakshas 2 on Zee TV.  Shows that came to an end are Kasautii Zindagii Kay and Pavitra Bhagya. The studio is working on five new projects in the movie business, Villain 2 directed by Mohit Suri and starring John Abraham, Goodbye directed by Vikas Behl and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rewind directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Taapsee Pannu, and two other projects which are official adaptations and remakes.

TV and movies combined had an EBITDA of Rs 14.5 crore for the quarter and Rs 26.2 crore for 9MFY21.

The regulatory filing has also stated that Jason Kothari will hold office as an additional director (non-executive independent) with effect from 11 February 2021 up to the date of the ensuing annual general meeting of the company and subject to the approval of the members in the ensuing annual general meeting, to hold office as an independent director for a term of five consecutive years with effect 11 February 2021.

Jason Kothari is an entrepreneur and experienced business leader in the technology, media & entertainment sectors.

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