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DEN’s cable TV biz turns around; 1 mn STBs seeded in Q4

MUMBAI: DEN Networks’ cable TV operations has turned around in the fiscal ended 31 March 2016 even as it seeded one million set-top boxes (STBs) in the fourth quarter to take its total digital subscriber base to 9.4 million.

The multi-system operator (MSO) reported consolidated profit (before tax and finance cost) of Rs 8.14 crore (Rs 81.4 million) from cable TV operations in FY16 compared to a loss of Rs 4.3 million a year ago.

Revenue grew 7.2% to Rs 1193.55 crore (Rs 11.94 billion) in FY16 from Rs 1113.46 crore (Rs 11.13 billion) a year ago.

In the fiscal fourth quarter, DEN reported consolidated profit (before tax and finance cost) of Rs 42.70 crore (Rs 427 million) from its cable TV operations compared to an EBIT loss of Rs 35.67 crore (Rs 356.7 million) in the prior-year quarter. In the third quarter of FY16, profit stood at Rs 32.64 (Rs 326.4 million).

Revenue from cable TV operations grew to Rs 344.60 crore (Rs 3.45 billion) in the quarter ended 31 March 2016 compared to Rs 266.88 crore (Rs 2.67 billion) in the prior-year quarter and Rs 326.43 crore (Rs 3.26 billion) in the trailing quarter.

Meanwhile, DEN’s consolidated net loss widened to Rs 260.92 crore (Rs 2.61 billion) in FY16 compared to a loss of Rs 144.01 crore (Rs 1.44 billion) a year ago.

Total income from operations grew 11.4% to Rs 1258.58 crore (Rs 12.59 billion) from Rs 1129.64 crore (Rs 11.3 billion).

Total expenses grew 11.4% to Rs 1362.85 crore (Rs 13.63 billion) in FY16 from Rs 1223.18 crore (Rs 12.23 billion) in the earlier year.

Content cost grew 9.8% to Rs 510.16 crore (Rs 5.10 billion) in FY16 compared to Rs 464.52 crore (Rs 4.65 billion) a year ago.

The broadband business continued to bleed as it is in an investment phase. Loss before tax and finance cost in this segment grew to Rs 78.26 crore (Rs 782.6 million) in FY16 from Rs 47.06 crore (Rs 470.6 million) a year ago. Revenue increased to Rs 40.62 crore (Rs 406.2 million) from Rs 8.10 crore (Rs 81 million).

Loss before tax and finance cost from the soccer business narrowed to Rs 34.15 crore (Rs 341.5 million) in FY16 from Rs 46.05 crore (Rs 460.5 million) in the prior year. Revenue stood at Rs 24.41 crore (Rs 244.1 million), up from Rs 8.08 crore (Rs 80.8 million) in FY15.

Q4 performance

DEN Networks’ consolidated net loss increased to Rs 85.44 crore (Rs 854.4 million) in the quarter ended 31 March 2016 compared to Rs 62.08 crore (Rs 620.8 million) a year ago and Rs 48.37 crore (Rs 483.7 million) in the trailing quarter.

DEN said its EBITDA stood at Rs 99 crore versus a loss of Rs 6 crore in Q4 of FY15. Profit before tax (excluding exceptional items) turned around to a positive Rs 11 crore as against a loss of Rs 47crore in Q4 of FY15.

Total income stood at Rs 369.51 crore (Rs 3.7 billion) in Q4 of FY16 compared to Rs 270.30 crore (Rs 2.7 billion) in the prior-year quarter and Rs 352.18 crore (Rs 3.52 billion) in the trailing quarter.

Content cost fell to Rs 105.39 crore (Rs 1.05 billion) as against Rs 131.04 crore (Rs 1.31 billion) in the preceding quarter and Rs 139.13 crore (Rs 1.39 billion) in Q4 of FY15.

Expenses fell to Rs 342.26 crore (Rs 3.42 billion) compared to Rs 365.23 crore (Rs 3.65 billion) in the preceding quarter and Rs 323.70 crore (Rs 3.24 billion) in Q4 of FY15.