Television

Balaji Telefilms TV, film biz report stellar growth; ALTBalaji subscriber base at 13.1 mn

ALTBalaji incurred a loss of Rs 36.4 crore on operating revenue of Rs 8 crore.

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BENGALURU: India’s premier television and digital content creation house Balaji Telefilms Ltd reported stellar performance from its television and film making business (TV business, or standalone) for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q3 2019, quarter, period, under review).

The company has three segments – commissioned programs, films and digital.

Balaji’s TV business commissioned programmes – (number of hours of content creation) grew 11 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) during the quarter under review to 199 hours as compared to 179 hours in the corresponding year ago quarter. Net realisation per hour of commissioned programmes went up to Rs 0.4 crore or by about 21 percent y-o-y in Q3 2019 as compared to Rs 0.33 per hour in Q3 2018.  However gross margin and gross margin percentage have both gone down in Q3 2019 to Rs 0.11 crore and 27.3 percent respectively as compared to Rs 0.13 crore and 37.9 percent respectively in the year ago quarter.

Overall, Balaji Telefilms TV business (or standalone) operating revenue increased 87.4 percent in the period under review to Rs 111.3 crore as compared to Rs 59.4 crore in Q3 2018. TV business profit after tax grew 29 percent y-o-y to Rs 12 crore from Rs 9.3 crore.

Balaji reported Rs 7.93 crore for Q3 2019 for its film segment as compared to Rs 1.85 crore for Q3 2018. The segment had an operating profit of Rs 1.42 crore during the period under review as compared to operating profit of Rs 0.73 crore in Q3 2018.

However, on a consolidated basis, it is Balaji Telefilms digital segment, its OTT platform ALTBalaji that more than wiped off the profits generated by the other segments. ALTBalaji incurred a loss of Rs 36.4 crore on operating revenue of Rs 8 crore during the quarter under review. Comparatively, in the third quarter of the previous fiscal, Balaji Telefilms had reported revenue of Rs 1.1 crore and a loss of Rs 17.8 crore for ALTBalaji. The good news is that ALTBalaji’s sold subscription base has gone up by more than twenty times - from 0.052 crore in Q3 2018 to 1.05 crore at close of December 2018.

Balaji Telefilms managing director Shobha Kapoor said, “We are pleased to announce another strong performance this quarter, highlighted improving margins that has cemented our place as a leader in the Indian media industry. Our in-house content gives us the ability to create strong franchises, nurture new talent and ultimately give consumers the best possible entertainment choices, hence making it a value proposition for our investors and stakeholders.”

Let us look at the other consolidated numbers reported by Balaji Telefilms

Balaji Telefilms consolidated revenue from operations increased 48.8 percent y-o-y in Q3 2019 to Rs 96.33 crore from Rs 64.73 crore. Consolidated total income for the period under review grew 50.8 percent y-o-y to Rs 105.3 crore from Rs 69.85 crore. The company reported a consolidated loss of Rs 27.31 crore in Q3 2019 as compared to profit after tax of Rs 25.82 crore in Q3 2018. Calculated consolidated simple EBITDA for Q3 2019 was an operating loss of Rs 26.18 crore as compared to a consolidated operating loss of Rs 7.5 crore in Q3 2018.

Total expenditure for the quarter under review was 66.1 percent higher y-o-y at Rs 126.92 crore as compared to Rs 76.4 crore in Q3 2018. Cost of production/ acquisition and telecast fees in the quarter at Rs 95.95 crore was 26.6 percent higher y-o-y as compared to Rs 75.77 crore in Q3 2018. Marketing expenses increased 53.5 percent y-o-y in Q3 2019 to Rs 10.74 crore from Rs 7 crore. Employee benefits expense in Q3 2019 increased to more than double – (increased by 107.2 percent) to Rs 14.25 crore from Rs 6.87 crore. Other expenses in Q3 2019 declined 18.7 percent y-o-y to Rs 9.83 crore from Rs 12.08 crore.

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