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DAS implementation hits Sea TV’s FY14 performance

MUMBAI: Agra-based multi system operator (MSO) Sea TV Network saw marginal improvement in operating profit in the fiscal fourth quarter helped by lower outgo of pay channel charges and improvement in subscription collection which boosted its top line.

Operating income in the fourth quarter ended March 2014 grew 19 per cent to Rs 4.76 crore (Rs 47.6 million) compared to Rs 3.98 crore (Rs 39.8 million) in the immediate trailing quarter. This was 23 per cent higher than Rs 3.87 crore (Rs 38.7 million) booked in the year-ago period.

Sea TV spent Rs 1.40 crore (Rs 14.0 million) towards pay channel charges, which is 14.5 per cent lower than the trailing quarter’s Rs 1.65 crore (Rs 16.5 million). Employee expenses, on the other hand, remained elevated at Rs 71.15 lakh (Rs 7.12 million), up 6 per cent QoQ. Other expenses widened sharply to Rs 1.38 crore (Rs 13.8 million) compared to Rs 99.95 lakh (Rs 9.99 million) incurred in Q3FY14.

The MSO spent Rs 2.50 crore (Rs 25 million) towards installation of standby digital headends and Rs 4.31 crore (Rs 43.1 million) towards construction of its corporate office. Expenses towards set-top box (STB) procurement aggregated to Rs 1.67 crore (Rs 16.7 million). All these funds came from IPO proceeds.

Full-fiscal performance

Sea TV, however, took a hit on its bottom line in the full-fiscal period. The MSO suffered a net loss of Rs 6.82 crore (Rs 68.2 million) on a consolidated basis in the fiscal ended March 2014 as against a net profit of Rs 1.29 crore (Rs 12.9 million) recorded a year ago.

The company had to struggle on the revenue front as well. For the fiscal period, it collected revenues of Rs 18.11 crore (Rs 181.1 million), which is 11.9 per cent softer than previous fiscal’s Rs 20.57 crore (Rs 205.7 million).

Even though the company managed to trim employee and other costs, it failed to realize positive returns from these due to a significant jump in pay channel charges.

The company incurred pay channel charges of Rs 5.56 crore (Rs 55.6 million), up 28.6 per cent, during FY2014. Employee costs eased 3 per cent to Rs 3.88 crore (Rs 38.8 million), while other expenses dropped 23 per cent to Rs 6.58 crore (Rs 65.8 million).