Ortel slides into loss amid flattish revenue growth in Q1

MUMBAI: Multi-system operator (MSO) Ortel Communications’ bottom line has turned red, with the company posting a net loss of Rs 2.9 crore for the quarter ended 30 June as against a net profit of Rs 80 lakh in the preceding quarter.

The company’s EBITDA fell to Rs 11.5 crore from Rs 11.1 crore. EBITDA margin during the quarter was 24.2% compared to 25.4%.

Revenue from operations rose marginally to Rs 46.8 crore from Rs 46.1 crore. Expenditure remained flat at Rs 35.9 crore. Programming cost increased to Rs 11.5 crore from Rs 10.7 crore. Pay channel per customer increased to Rs 51.28 from Rs 47.67.

Cable TV revenue saw a minor increase to Rs 37.1 crore from Rs 36.3 crore. Subscription remained flat at Rs 28.8 crore compared to Rs 28.9 crore. Carriage revenue increased to Rs 6.2 crore from Rs 5 crore.

Broadband revenue declined to Rs 6.1 crore from Rs 7.1 crore in the trailing quarter. Subscription revenue dropped to Rs 5.7 crore from Rs 7 crore.

Cable TV ARPU declined to Rs 137 from Rs 138, while broadband ARPU fell to Rs 267 from Rs 319.

The number of cable TV subscribers stood at 7.47 lakh as against 7.5 lakh. Broadband subscribers dropped to 70,200 from 73,000.

Cable TV EBITDA from Odisha was Rs 12 crore on revenue of Rs 33.4 crore. In the previous quarter, the revenue and EBITDA stood at Rs 32.7 crore and Rs 7.4 crore respectively. Cable TV subscribers in Odisha dropped to 5.21 lakh from 5.38 lakh.

EBITDA from emerging markets fell to Rs 90 lakh from Rs 1.5 crore. Revenue also decreased to Rs 10.9 crore from Rs 13.3 crore. Subscribers in emerging markets increased to 2.96 lakh from Rs 2.85 lakh.

“This has been a challenging period for the company as intense competition in our core markets and new subscriber integration issues in new markets continued to impact our performance. The management team is working towards improving our position and expect to deliver better results by the end of this fiscal year,” said Ortel Communications president and CEO Bibhu Prasad Rath.

“While we are evaluating fund raising possibilities to bridge our short-term capital requirement, our focus in FY18 would be to consolidate the operations and improve the operational matrix which would result in notable cash flow generation. Overall, we remain confident of the strength of fully controlling the ‘last mile’ network and the B2C business model, which we believe will enable us to tide over this difficult period.”