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Siti Cable’s full-fiscal profitability for first time and other milestones

MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra-promoted Siti Cable Network has achieved several milestones in the financial year ended 31 March 2016. The multi-system operator (MSO) has turned profitable at the net level for the full fiscal for the first time in its history. It has also reported the highest number of digital customer acquisitions in a year and its footprint is the largest in the country.

The company reported consolidated net profit of Rs 9 crore (Rs 90 million) in FY16 versus a net loss of Rs 101.9 crore (Rs 1.02 billion) in the prior year.

“Our strategy of tighter control on cost lines and improving monetisation has started yielding results and the company’s profitable turnaround, first time in 20 years, is a testament to that,” said Siti Cable executive director and CEO VD Wadhwa.

Profit before tax (PBT) stood at Rs 22.1 crore (Rs 221 million) versus a loss of Rs 85.2 crore (Rs 852 million) a year ago.

EBITDA grew 92% to Rs 323 crore (Rs 3.23 billion) from Rs 168.4 crore (Rs 1.68 billion) in FY15.

Income Statement siti cable q4 yr16

Siti Cable seeded 2.7 million set-top boxes (STBs) in the financial year while pursuing an aggressive acquisition strategy. This is the MSO’s highest seeding of STBs in a year. “We will continue to aggressively digitise our subscriber base,” said Wadhwa.

Siti Cable made several acquisitions of regional MSOs to expand its footprint. As reported by TelevisionPost.com, the most recent purchase was that of Axom Communications & Cable (ACC), an independent MSO in Assam. Siti Cable made the acquisition of 50% stake in ACC through its subsidiary, Indian Cable Net Company.

vd-wadhwa03Siti Cable acquired majority stake in regional MSOs in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Odisha. “We continue our journey of being the fastest-growing company in cable and broadband by expanding the breadth and width of our distribution. As a part of our strategy, we are working on gaining industry leadership through organic and inorganic growth,” said Wadhwa.

Siti Cable has a presence in 312 cities across the country. Nearly 200 cities were rolled out during FY16. This is in line with the MSO’s strategy of expanding in Phase III and IV areas of digital addressable system (DAS) across different geographies.

By adding 2.7 million digital customers in FY16, Siti Cable’s digital video base stands at 7.9 million. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Siti Cable’s digital subscriber base crossed 1.5 million.

Siti Cable added over 450,000 home passes and 72,000 broadband subscribers in FY16. The total broadband subscriber base stands at 132,000. “We are planning to aggressively roll out broadband in select geographies in the near future,” Wadhwa said.

The company reported consolidated revenue of Rs 1,213 crore (Rs 12.13 billion) in FY16, up 30% from the earlier year. Subscription income stood at Rs 561 crore (Rs 5.61 billion), up 6%.

Consolidated gross debt stood at Rs 1,116 crore (Rs 11.16 billion) and net debt at Rs 743 crore (Rs 7.43 billion).

Q4 performance

Siti Cable reported profit at the net level for the second straight quarter. In the fiscal fourth quarter, net profit stood at Rs 8.1 crore (Rs 81 million) compared to a loss of Rs 45.3 crore (Rs 453 million) in the prior-year quarter. In Q3 of FY16, net profit was at Rs 56 crore (Rs 560 million).

PBT stood at Rs 16.9 crore (Rs 169 million) versus loss of Rs 32.8 (Rs 328 million) in the earlier-year quarter. In Q3 of FY16, PBT was at Rs 56.2 crore (Rs 562 million).

EBITDA grew to Rs 103.4 crore (Rs 1.03 billion) from Rs 32.1 crore (Rs 321 million) in the year-ago period. In Q3 of FY16, EBITDA was at Rs 129.9 crore (Rs 1.3 billion).

Total revenue stood at Rs 364.8 crore (Rs 3.65 billion), up from Rs 278.7 crore (Rs 2.79 billion) a year ago and Rs 374.8 crore in Q3 of FY16.

Income Statement quarterly siti cable q4 yr16

Carriage revenue fell to Rs 63.4 crore (Rs 634 million) compared to Rs 73.5 crore (Rs 735 million) in the prior-year quarter. In Q3 of FY16, carriage revenue was at Rs 60.5 crore (Rs 605 million).

Subscription revenue grew to Rs 147.9 crore (Rs 1.48 billion) from Rs 142.2 crore (Rs 1.42 billion) in Q4 of FY15 and Rs 145.8 crore (Rs 1.46 billion) in Q3 of FY16.

Activation revenue at Rs 105 crore (Rs 1.05 billion) was at a high in the fiscal third quarter. This fell to Rs 78.2 crore (Rs 782 million) in the quarter ended 31 March 2016. In Q4 of FY15, activation revenue was at Rs 21.1 crore (Rs 211 million).

The company’s broadband operations added 220,000 homes passed in the quarter, taking the total footprint to 890,000 homes.

Siti Cable strengthened its Siti HD+ services by offering over 45 HD channels during FY16. Eight new HD channels are in the pipeline for rollout in the near future. Siti HD+ customer base increased to 50,170, up 42% over Q3 of FY16.

Revenue-Streams-Operational-siti-cable-Q4-yr16 - metrics

So, what about FY17? “Having expanded in DAS Phase III, our biggest challenge in FY17 will be monetisation. We are well positioned to scale up our broadband operations aggressively in new geographies in FY17,” Wadhwa said.

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