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Dish TV’s subscriber growth stays strong, Q2 net loss narrows

MUMBAI: It was a second straight quarter of significant subscriber additions for Dish TV, coupled with an increase in ARPU (average revenue per user).

The direct-to-home (DTH) operator has further narrowed its fiscal second-quarter standalone net loss to Rs 15.1 crore (Rs 151 million) compared to the preceding quarter’s Rs 16 crore (Rs 160 million).

Dish TV added 378,000 net subscribers during the quarter ended 30 September and its ARPU also increased from Rs 170 to Rs 172 in the quarter. The company had added 332,000 net subscribers in the previous quarter.

Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish told TelevisionPost.com that the company has got its momentum back and Dish TV, Zing as well as HD, all have helped. “While we maintained the leadership position, there was a healthy growth in HD sales and good traction from sale of the ‘Zing’ brand. Sports pack specially helped in HD additions,” he said.

Dish TV managed to maintain churn at 0.7 per cent per month, similar to the trailing quarter.

Operating profit (EBITDA) was up 3.3 per cent (QOQ) to Rs 162.3 crore (Rs 1.62 billion). However, EBITDA margin was lower at 24.1 per cent, compared to 24.5 per cent in the June quarter.

Dish TV claims to have a net subscriber base of 12.1 million.

Dish TV chairman Subhash Chandra said, “The industry, led by Dish TV, recorded a healthy 38 per cent year-on-year growth in gross additions during the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Our performance during the second quarter is a reflection of our belief that a financially stable business is best placed to capitalise on any growth opportunity. While we have been growing in the right direction, growth without healthy returns to our shareholders falls below our aspirations. However, we are committed to generating them, and by focusing on revenues, expenses and balance sheet quality, we are building near-term benefits for all our stakeholders.”

A look at the Q2 financials:

Dish TV Q2 FY15 main

The DTH operator’s operating revenue stood at Rs 672.3 crore (Rs 6.72 billion), up 4.9 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis, while subscription revenue was at Rs 616.8 crore (Rs 6.17 billion).

Dish TV’s expenses, meanwhile increased by 5.4 per cent.

Dish TV Q2 FY15 exp

The company’s free cash flow was at Rs 11 crore (Rs 110 million), while debt stood at Rs 1,350 crore (Rs 13.50 billion).

Dish TV MD Jawahar Goel said, “We believe that the digitisation push back provides a window of opportunity both for the early movers as well as for those who have not been able to monetise the roll-out. We do hope that the cable industry will ensure full implementation of gross billing, encryption and packaging in Phases I & II during this extended time period. For early movers like Dish TV, it’s an opportunity to reach out uninterrupted to the masses in Phases III & IV and capture leading market share there.”

Dish TV shares closed at Rs 57.35, up 2.69 per cent, on the BSE on Wednesday.