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TV18 beats pandemic blues, consolidated profit leaps 77% in Q4

TV18 is a listed subsidiary of Network 18

NEW DELHI: In the fourth quarter of the financial year that ended on 31 March 2021, TV18, a listed subsidiary of Network 18, has reported a 77 per cent increase in consolidated profit at Rs 251 crores. In a regulatory filing, TV18 revealed that the profit in the corresponding period was Rs 142 crores. 

In a press statement, the company said strong recovery in TV ad growth to the high single digits in Q4 has helped TV18 to stay afloat. The profit growth was also driven by lower operating expenses including operating cost, finance cost, and depreciation. The 41 per cent year-over-year (YoY) fall in tax expenses at Rs 20 crores also added up to the profitability of the company. 

TV18's total expenses for Q4 were at Rs 1,113 crores, 11.3 per cent down when compared to the expenses in the same period of the previous fiscal year which stands at Rs 1,254 crores. However, the company's consolidated revenue from operations was down by 5.4 per cent to Rs 1,347 crores in Q4 as against Rs 1,424 crores of the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal year. 

"Broad-based cost controls helped offset Covid impact and sharpened operating leverage. Q4 Opex was down 10 per cent YoY despite full resumption of programming and calibrated investments into marketing/distribution in tandem with monetization opportunities," said TV18 in a BSE filing. 

TV18 Broadcast revealed that television viewership has settled higher above pre-pandemic levels due to the rising number of households that possess televisions. 

"TV households have increased to 210 million vs 197 million in 2018 as per BARC, and penetration is still at 66 per cent. TV in India, therefore, is a growing medium with further headroom," the company added. 

According to the filing, digital engagement continued to grow which is linked to the volume of high-quality content and key events. Industry sources indicate a 10 per cent YoY increase in OTT video consumption. 

Group debt of the company was also reduced to Rs 893 crores in March 2021 from Rs 1,775 crores last year. 

The report also noted that Viacom18’s OTT platform Voot has also succeeded in drawing new subscriptions in an already competitive market. 

"Subscriber base continues to grow led by its quality of content, before-TV delivery of shows, attractive pricing, and smart bundling. The app posted 11 per cent QoQ growth in overall watch time. 50 per cent of our active paying subs were watching Bigg Boss every week," stated the report. 

TV18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai said that the company has successfully dealt with challenges posed by the pandemic, and has posted much-improved profitability in a difficult year. 

"Our brands have continued to grow in strength and salience during this period. Our plans to invest in digital growth and our resolve to excel in the television remain constants amidst a dynamic business environment," added Zainulbhai, Money Control reports.

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