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Airtel Digital TV turns EBIT positive in FY16; Q4 sees highest subs adds in 20 quarters
MUMBAI: Airtel Digital TV, the DTH arm of Bharti Airtel, has achieved two milestones. The company has turned EBIT (earnings from operations) positive on full-fiscal basis and its net subscriber addition in the three-month period ended 31 March 2016 has been the highest in the last 20 quarters.
Airtel Digital TV turned EBIT positive for the full-fiscal at Rs 184.3 crore (Rs 1.84 billion) compared to EBIT loss of Rs 158.1 crore (Rs 1.58 billion) a year ago.
In the fiscal fourth quarter, Airtel Digital TV mopped up 619,000 new subscribers to make it its best in 20 quarters. In FY16, the DTH operator added 1.65 million net subscribers to take its total subscriber base to 11.72 million. In the previous fiscal, it had added 1.06 million net subscribers to touch the 10.07 million subscriber mark.
Airtel Digital TV’s EBITDA in FY16 grew 48% to Rs 997.6 crore (Rs 9.98 billion) compared to Rs 675.2 crore (Rs 6.75 billion) a year ago. EBITDA margin stood at 34.2%, up from 27.3% in the year-ago period.
Revenue increased 18% to Rs 2917.8 crore (Rs 29.18 billion) from Rs 2475.9 crore (Rs 24.76 billion) in the earlier year.
Capital expenditure (capex) during the fiscal jumped 40% to Rs 1098 crore (Rs 10.98 billion) from Rs 784.2 crore (Rs 7.84 billion) a year ago. Cumulative investment in the DTH business was up 20% to 6490.6 crore (Rs 64.91 billion) compared to Rs 5410.9 crore (Rs 54.11 billion) in the earlier year.
Affordability of HD set-top boxes, demand for HD channels and upselling efforts led to ARPU (average revenue per user) increasing by Rs 19 to Rs 226 as compared to previous year on an underlying basis. The company also launched its first indigenously manufactured STB during the year.
Airtel Digital TV has seen its revenue and EBITDA grow during the exit quarter of the financial year 2015–16 on the back of strong subscriber additions.
Airtel Digital TV added 619,000 net subscribers during the quarter ended 31 March, which is the highest in the last 20 quarters.
This is a big improvement over the previous quarter when the company had added 530,000 net subscribers, which was the highest in the previous 18 quarters.
EBITDA jumped to Rs 275 crore (Rs 2.75 billion) compared to Rs 247.4 crore (Rs 2.47 billion) in the preceding quarter. In the fourth quarter of FY15, EBITDA was at Rs 207.8 crore (Rs 2.08 billion).
EBITDA margin improved to 35.1% from 33.3% in the trailing quarter. In Q4 of FY15, EBITDA margin stood at 32.7%.
The improvement in EBITDA led to an EBIT of Rs 72 crore (Rs 720 million) in the fourth quarter of FY16 compared to Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million) a year ago. In the third quarter of FY16, EBIT stood at Rs 53.8 crore (Rs 538 million).
Revenue increased to Rs 784 crore (Rs 7.84 billion) from Rs 742.2 crore (Rs 7.42 billion) in the previous quarter. In Q4 of FY15, revenue stood at Rs 634.8 crore (Rs 6.35 billion).
ARPU remained flat at Rs 229, same as in Q3. In Q4 of FY15, ARPU stood at Rs 214.
Monthly churn during the quarter stood at to 0.8% compared to 0.7% in the preceding quarter.
Cash burn during the quarter was at Rs 19.3 crore (Rs 193 million) primarily due to higher capex spends because of increased gross additions. In the previous quarter, cash burn stood at Rs 94.8 crore (Rs 948 million).
The company incurred capex of Rs 294.3 crore (Rs 2.94 billion) during the quarter compared to Rs 342.2 crore (Rs 3.42 billion) in the previous quarter. In Q4 of FY15, capex was at Rs 133 crore (Rs 1.33 billion).
Airtel Digital TV offers 504 channels including 42 HD channels, four international channels and five interactive services. As on 31 March 2016, the company had its Digital TV operations in 639 districts.