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Sun Direct turns around to post net profit

MUMBAI: Sun Direct, the DTH arm of the Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun group, is turning around. After incurring losses till FY16, the company is hitting the profitability mark.

For the first nine months of FY17, Sun Direct has posted a net profit of Rs 21.2 crore even as ARPU (average revenue per user) has climbed.

Total income stood at Rs 907.93 crore in the first nine months of FY17.

In FY16, Sun Direct had narrowed its net loss to Rs 35.30 crore compared to Rs 156.92 crore a year ago.

Total operating income grew to Rs 1,116.61 crore in FY16, up from Rs 1,048.62 crore in the earlier year. The rise in income was backed by growth in subscription income.

Sun Direct’s ARPU has been seeing steady growth over the years. For the first nine months of FY17, the DTH company’s ARPU increased to Rs 175 compared to Rs 163 in FY16.

ARPU in FY15 was Rs 153, up from Rs 143 in FY14 and Rs 131 in FY13.

The growth in ARPU has helped Sun Direct to improve on profitability parameters. The company’s losses at the net level have been declining over the last three years.

In FY17, Sun Direct added three transponders on GSAT 15. It has a total of eight transponders, equally split between Measat 3 and GSAT 15. The addition of the transponders has enabled the company to increase the number of HD channels its offers to 55. This will help the company to improve its ARPU going forward, a media analyst said.

Sun Direct is a privately held company with the Marans owning 80% stake and the remaining 20% being with South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd (SAEHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian group Astro All Asia Networks Plc.

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