NDTV bottom-line black despite revenue decline in Covid2019 quarter

Operating revenue declined 34 percent y-o-y in Q1 2021

BENGALURU: The Prannoy and Radhika Roy-led Indian media house New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) reported 33.7 percent lower year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated revenue from operations for the quarter ended 30 June 2020 (Q1 2021, quarter or period under review) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year Q1 2020 and 21.5 percent lower than that reported for the immediate trailing quarter Q4 2020. Despite the sharp drop in consolidated operating revenue, the company reported consolidated profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 7.55 crore for the quarter under review, albeit 54.7 percent lower than the Rs 16.66 crore in Q1 2020 and 17.9 percent lower q-o-q than the Rs 9.20 crore reported for Q4 2020.  Reported consolidated operating revenues for Q1 2021, Q1 2020 and Q4 2020 were Rs 72.73 crore, Rs 109.67 crore and Rs 92.60 crore respectively.  All figures mentioned in this paper are consolidated unless stated otherwise.

Total income including other revenue for Q1 2021 declined 35 percent y-o-y to Rs 74.02 crore from Rs 113.87 crore in Q1 2020 and declined 27.4 percent from Rs 102 crore in Q4 2020. Calculated consolidated operating profit or simple operating EBITDA for the period under consideration was 36.8 percent lower y-o-y at Rs 15.98 crore (22 percent of operating revenue) as compared to Rs 25.29 crore (23.1 percent of operating revenue) for Q1 2020, but 40.4 percent higher q-o-q than the Rs 11.38 crore (12.3 percent of operating revenue) for Q4 2020.

Even before the lockdown, the company has been cutting expenses. Consolidated total expenses for Q1 2021 declined 31.2 percent y-o-y to Rs 64.64 crore from Rs 93.96 crore in Q1 2020 and were 27.8 percent lower q-o-q than the Rs 89.49 crore in Q4 2020.  Production expenses and cost of services in Q1 2021 declined 52.5 percent y-o-y to Rs 11.47 crore from Rs 24.16 crore in Q1 2020 and fell 43.6 percent q-o-q from Rs 20.32 crore in Q4 2020. Employee benefits expenses in Q1 2021 were 28.8 percent lower y-o-y at Rs 22.39 crore as compared to Rs 31.46 crore in Q1 2020 and declined 24.2 percent q-o-q from Rs 29.54 crore in Q4 2020.

Finance costs declined 11.4 percent y-o-y during the period under review to Rs 2.57 crore from Rs 2.90 crore in Q1 2020, but increased 1.6 percent q-o-q from Rs 2.53 crore in Q4 2020. Operating and administrative expenses for Q1 2021 fell 13.5 percent y-o-y to Rs 14.28 crore from Rs 16.51 crore and reduced 32.2 percent q-o-q from Rs 21.07 crore in Q4 2020. Marketing, distribution and promotional expenses for Q1 2021 were 29.7 percent lower y-o-y at Rs 8.61 crore as compared to Rs 12.25 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year and 16.3 percent lower q-o-q that the Rs 10.29 crore in the immediate trailing quarter.

NDTV has two segments – television, media and related operations; and retail/e-commerce. NDTV has reported nil revenue and nil result for the latter for Q2 2021.

Television segment operating revenue declined 33.3 percent y-o-y in Q1 2021 to Rs 72.73 crore from Rs 108.98 crore in Q1 2020 and was 20.8 percent lower q-o-q than Rs 91.80 crore in Q4 2020. NDTV reported 46.8 percent y-o-y decline in operating profit before exceptional items, share in profit/ (loss) of associate/ joint ventures, interest and tax to Rs 14.70 crore in Q1 2021 from Rs 27.64 crore in Q1 2020 and 20.7 percent lower than Rs 18.54 crore in Q4 2020.

In note 1 of NDTV’s financial statement it is explained that parent company, which runs television business, has earned a standalone net profit of Rs 4.42 crore (Rs 442 lakh) during the quarter ended 30 June 2020 and, as of that date, the parent company’s current liabilities exceed its current assets by Rs 79.35 crores (Rs 7935 lakh). These conditions, along with other matters described in the note, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the ability of the parent company to continue as a going concern. The management has stated that the parent company has initiated certain strategic and operational measures included in note one to mitigate the uncertainty. Accordingly, they have prepared the statement on a going concern basis.

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