PFL reports growth in operating revenue

BENGALURU: Integrated media services player Prime Focus Ltd (PFL) reported 20 per cent year-on-year (yoy) growth in operating revenue at Rs 609.61 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2017 (Q3 2018, quarter, the quarter under review) as compared with Rs 508.03 crore for the corresponding year ago quarter (Q3 2017). Total income increased by 20.3 per cent yoy in Q3 2018 to Rs 612.21 crore from Rs 508.84 crore. The company, however, reported a net loss of Rs 7.03 crore for the quarter under review as compared with profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 28.18 crore in Q3 2017. The company says finance charges considered for Q3 2018 were higher by Rs 5.5 crore on account of change in accounting treatment towards redemption premium on Standard Chartered PE NCDs–expensed as against capitalised in the balance sheet in earlier quarters.

Adjusted operating EBITDA for the quarter at Rs 157.34 crore (25.8 per cent of operating revenue) grew by 27.8 per cent yoy from Rs 123.16 crore (24.2 per cent of operating revenue). Adjusted EBIDTA of Rs 157.34 crore for Q3 2018 includes ESOP costs of Rs 4.21 crore, foreign exchange (forex) losses of Rs 2.51 crore and Rs 10 crore of non-operating non-cash forex charges on account of balance sheet translation exposure and approximately Rs 20 crore for certain one-time Montreal setup costs and conservative provisions at PFW/DNEG.

Total expenditure in Q3 2018 increased by 25.9 per cent to Rs 610.09 crore from Rs 484.43 crore in Q3 2017. Employee benefits expense in Q3 2018 rose by 25.9 per cent to Rs 332.61 crore from Rs 268.74 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Technician fees more than doubled (2.08 times) to Rs 15.12 crore from Rs 7.27 crore in Q3 2017. Technical services cost in the quarter under review increased by 72.4 per cent to Rs 28.45 crore from Rs 16.50 crore in Q3 2017. Finance cost in Q3 2018 increased 97.6 per cent yoy to Rs 45.32 crore from Rs 22.94 crore in Q3 2017. Other expenditure in the quarter increased 14.9 per cent yoy to Rs 106.08 crore as compared to Rs 92.36 crore in the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2017.

Commenting on the results, PFL founder, executive chairman and global CEO Namit Malhotra said, “We are pleased to report a strong quarter with continued momentum across businesses. Ourcreative services continued to deliver marquee projects such as recent Hollywood blockbusters - Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League which have grossed over $800 million and $600 million, respectively. Our order book includes good projects like Venom, which is the next movie in the Spiderman franchise. In tech/tech enabled business, we added new clients and invested in new talent to strengthen our reach in North America while India FMS continues to deliver robust profitability in line with our expectations.

“Given the significant growth we have witnessed in our creative services business and continued momentum visible going forward, the board has decided that Vikas should focus all his energies toward helping manage this growth and maximise the potential at PFW/DNEG. Vikas has relocated to London and will now be fully focused on his role as the CFO of PFW/DNEG. Nishant Fadia has now been re-appointed as the CFO of PFL. As you may know, Nishant has been with Prime Focus for the last 18 years and was the CFO of PFL till 2014 and since then has been the COO for the Group. I wish them both the very best as we look to take the Prime Focus Group to greater heights in the years ahead.

“We are happy to continue to deliver performance ahead of plans and look forward to ending FY18 on a higher note.”

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