Television

All segments rake in numbers for Balaji Telefilms, Alt Balaji numbers up

Board has declared an interim dividend of 20 percent or Rs 0.40 per share

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BENGALURU: One of the most successful television content production houses in India, the Shobha Kapoor and Ektaa Kapoor-led Balaji Telefilms Ltd (Balaji) reported growth in revenue from all its three segments for the quarter ended 31 December 2019 (Q3 2019, quarter or period under review) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter Q3 2019.  The company’s board of directors has declared an interim dividend of 20 percent or Rs 0.40 per share for the financial year 2019-20.

In its investor presentation, the Balaji says that its TV Business contributes to 15 percent of prime-time ratings and that it is the number one production house by a wide margin. It had nine shows running through the quarter with two new launches, while two shows came to an end. The Indian drama series Yeh Hai Chahatein, a spin-off show based on Yeh Hai Mohabbatein was launched on Star Plus. The fourth season of the very popular supernatural series Naagin was launched on Viacom18’s flagship Hindi GEC Colors, replacing Kaavach 2. Also Balaji Telefilms released one new film – Dream Girl in Q3 2019.

Balaji’s posted more than double (up 144.5 percent) y-o-y growth in standalone profit after tax or PAT for Q3 2019. Standalone revenue from operations increased 77.9 percent y-o-y in Q3 2020.

Though it has yet to become profitable, Balaji’s OTT platform ALT Balaji operating revenue almost tripled (increased 187.5 percent y-o-y to Rs 23.14 crore during the period under review as compared to Rs 8.05 crore in Q3 2019. The company reported lower operating loss for ALT Balaji at Rs 12.27 crore for Q3 2020 as compared to an operating loss of Rs 32.95 crore for Q3 2019.

Revenue from the company’s television programming increased 3.4 percent y-o-y to Rs 81.96 crore in Q3 2020 as compared to Rs 79.3 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter. Revenue from Commissioned programmes segment increased 28.2 percent y-o-y in Q3 2020 to Rs 133.10 crore from Rs 103.79 crore in Q3 2019. Commissioned programmes business operating results increased by 56.2 percent during the period to Rs 27.94 crore as compared to Rs 17.89 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter. Balaji produced 10.1 percent more programming hours during the quarter under review at 219 hours as compared to 199 hours in Q3 2019, but realisation per hour in Q3 2020 at Rs 0.37 crore was lower y-o-y as compared to Rs 0.40 crore in Q3 2019 according to the company’s investor presentation.

Revenue from Balaji’s Films segment increased nine-fold (increased 800.4 percent) y-o-y in Q3 2020 to Rs 93.89 crore from Rs 25.33 crore. Films segment operating results was more than 70 times higher (up 6,978.9 percent) at Rs 33.50 crore as compared to an operating profit of Rs 0.43 crore in Q3 2019.

Balaji’s standalone PAT for Q3 2020 and Q3 2019 was Rs 29.41 crore and Rs 12.02 crore respectively.  On a consolidated basis, the company reported PAT in Q3 2020 at Rs 13.83 crore as compared to a consolidated loss of Rs 27.31 crore in Q3 2019. Standalone EBITDA increased by 77.9 percent y-o-y in Q3 2020 to Rs 198.36 crore from Rs 111.50 crore.

Standalone operating revenue for Q3 2020 and Q3 2019 was Rs 198.36 crore and Rs 111.50 crore respectively. Consolidated operating revenue in Q3 2020 increased 95 percent y-o-y to Rs 187.89 crore from Rs 96.33 crore.

Company Speak

Balaji Telefilms managing director Shobha Kapoor said in the investor release, ”This quarter we created good, compelling and entertaining content across all our business verticals and this has resulted in a very strong financial performance. Apart from driving the top line, we remain focused on cost-saving measures that allow us to leverage economies of scale in content production, yielding an improved bottom line. We will continue to focus on growing the business profitably and utilising our existing cash reserves prudently, as we have been doing.”

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Balaji

Consolidated total income for Q3 2020 at Rs 190.68 crore was 81.1 percent higher y-o-y as compared to Rs 105.30 crore. Consolidated total expenses for the period under review increased 25 percent y-o-y to Rs 192.58 crore from Rs 140.22 crore.

Consolidated cost of production was almost flat (declined 0.9 percent) y-o-y in Q3 2020 to Rs 95.07 crore as compared to Rs 95.95 crore. Consolidated marketing and distribution expenses in Q3 2020 declined 37.1 percent y-o-y to Rs 6.76 crore from Rs 10.74 crore. Consolidated employee benefits expense in Q3 2020 declined 34.2 percent y-o-y to Rs 9.37 crore from Rs 14.25 crore. Consolidated other expenses in Q2 2020 increased 63 percent y-o-y to Rs 16.02 crore from Rs 9.83 crore.

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