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Hathway Q1 STB seeding at 0.6 mn, carriage rev down 6.88%

MUMBAI: Cable TV and broadband service provider Hathway Cable & Datacom has deployed 600,000 (0.6 million) set-top boxes (STBs) in the first quarter ended 30 June 2016. With this, the multi-system operator’s total STB deployment stands at 11 million out of its total cable TV universe of 12.3 million.

In the previous quarter ended 31 March, the company had seeded 1 million STBs, which took its total digitised subscriber base to 10.6 million. Hathway’s digital cable TV penetration has increased to 90% from 87% in the prior quarter.

A phase-wise analysis of STB deployment shows Hathway’s STB seeding in digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III and IV areas is at 4.7 million. For Phases I and II, the STB deployment stands at 2.3 and 4 million respectively, as on 30 June 2016.

The company’s standalone net loss has widened to Rs 53.2 crore (Rs 532 million) from Rs 45.9 crore (Rs 459 million) in the trailing quarter.

EBITDA dropped 44.23% to Rs 44.5 crore from Rs 79.8 crore in the previous quarter.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS hathway Q1 FY17

Financials are not comparable on sequential basis as company has not restated Q4FY16 financials as per IND-AS.

Carriage and total revenue

Placement (carriage) revenue was down 6.88% to Rs 66.3 crore from Rs 71.2 crore in the preceding quarter.

Subscription revenue from cable TV dropped 6.52% to Rs 107.7 crore from Rs 115.2 crore.

Income from operations decreased 11.12% at Rs 302.1 crore (Rs 3.02 billion) compared to Rs 339.9 crore (Rs 3.4 billion) in the prior quarter.

Pay channel cost and total expenditure

Pay channel cost saw some cooling off, as it dropped to Rs 102 crore (Rs 1.02 billion) compared to Rs 123.3 crore (Rs 1.23 billion) in the preceding quarter.

Standalone expenditure saw a small drop at Rs 257.6 crore compared to Rs 260.1 in the quarter ended 31 March.

ARPU

Hathway has increased its Phase III ARPU to Rs 25 during the quarter from Rs 15 in the previous quarter. Phase I and II ARPU remained unchanged at Rs 105 and Rs 86 respectively.

Broadband business

The company’s broadband revenue rose 15.1% to Rs 104.6 crore from Rs 90.8 crore in the previous quarter.

During the quarter, Hathway’s broadband subscriber base increased to reach 7,20,000. In the prior quarter, the number of broadband subscribers stood at 6,30,000.

Standalone broadband subscriber stood at 4,90,000, of which 3,10,000 were Docsis 3.0 subscribers.

The company’s homes passed figure has reached 3.6 million as it maintained continuous focus on network expansion.

Hathway said that the technical infrastructure upgrade and improved customer service helped in accelerating monthly net additions. Its GPON fibre-to-the-home pilot in Kolkata has received good response and the same is being scaled up in various cities.

Standalone broadband ARPU has increased to Rs 724 from Rs 700 in the previous quarter. Consolidated broadband ARPU remained flat at Rs 670.

Hathway has increased data limits across cities by up to 50% to encourage consumers to get more out of their home broadband.

It launched an innovative digital marketing promotion called ‘Quick India’ on Independence Day which has so far seen good participation from consumers across digital platforms.

The company’s gross and net debt stood at Rs 2,067.8 crore and Rs 1,978.5 crore respectively.