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Ad and circulation revenues boost HT Media net to Rs 207.5 cr in FY14

MUMBAI: HT Media Ltd (HT Media) has posted a 24 per cent jump in its consolidated net profit for the fiscal ended 31 march 2014. The publisher of English dailies ‘Hindustan Times’ and ‘Mint’ has posted a net profit of Rs 207.5 crore (Rs 2.07 billion), compared to Rs 167.7 crore (Rs 1.68 billion) in the previous fiscal.

The company saw a boost in both advertising as well as circulation revenues. Total revenues were up 10 per cent at Rs 2363 crore (Rs 23.63 billion) compared to Rs 2142.2 crore (Rs 21.42 billion) a year ago.

The advertising revenues of the print segment surged nine per cent to Rs 1665.2 crore (Rs 16.65 billion), primarily driven by increase in advertising yields and volumes. Meanwhile, the circulation revenues jumped to Rs 257 crore (Rs 2.57 billion) from Rs 222.6 crore (Rs 2.23 billion), primarily driven by increase in realisation per copy.

EBITDA for the fiscal was higher by 26 per cent to Rs 474.8 crore (Rs 4.75 billion) from Rs 376.4 crore (Rs 3.76 billion) a year ago.

HT Media, however, said that its growth was partially offset by one per cent increase in cost of raw material consumed [Rs 735.3 crore from Rs 726.8 crore (Rs 7.27 billion) a year ago; a 13 per cent increase in other expenses to Rs 730.9 crore (Rs 7.31 billion) due to increase in advertising & sales promotion expenses and increase in ad for equity provisions; and an 8 per cent increase in employee cost to Rs 423.7 crore (Rs 4.24 billion).

HT Media chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia said, “We are confident that our diversified and resilient business model, established brands and sustained focus on cost reduction will continue to drive growth and create value.”

However, for the fourth quarter of the fiscal, the net profit has slumped 13 per cent due to reversal of deferred tax assets for previous periods, the company said. HT Media’s PAT for Q4FY14 has remained at Rs 34.8 crore (Rs 348 million), compared to Rs 40.1 crore (Rs 401 million) in Q4FY13.

The revenue in the quarter was up 12 per cent to Rs 585.9 crore (Rs 5.86 billion), from Rs 525.2 crore (Rs 5.25 billion) in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. While advertising revenue from the print segment jumped 10 per cent to Rs 417.2 crore (Rs 4.17 billion), circulation revenues surged 14 per cent to Rs 65.5 crore (Rs 655 million).

EBITDA for the quarter was higher by 22 per cent to Rs 117.5 crore (Rs 1.17 billion), up from Rs 96.4 crore (Rs 964 million) in the year ago period.

In the quarter, the company witnessed an eight per cent increase in cost of raw material consumed to Rs 183.5 crore (Rs 1.83 billion), while other expenses increased 9 per cent to Rs 179 crore (Rs 1.79 billion).

Robust performance from Radio business

Revenue from the FM radio business, run by the name of Fever FM, grew 19 per cent to Rs 93.1 crore (Rs 931 million) in FY14, from Rs 78.3 crore (Rs 783 million) million a year ago.

EBITDA from the radio business was up by 129 per cent to Rs 28.5 crore (Rs 285 million) from Rs 12.5 crore (Rs 125 million). EBITDA margin improved to 31 per cent from 16 per cent a year ago.

The company operates Fever FM in four metro cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Digital business

The company said that its digital business continues to report buoyant performance for FY14. Its revenues from digital segment jumped 42 per cent to Rs 76.2 crore (Rs 762 million) from Rs 53.8 crore (Rs 538 million) a year ago.

HT Media’s web portal Shine.com registered revenue growth of 58 per cent in FY14 over FY13 while HT Mobile registered a revenue growth of 65 per cent. The company did not disclose separate details.

Meanwhile, HT Media said that its strong balance sheet is capable of supporting investments in growing businesses and exploring new opportunities. The company has net cash of Rs 901.3 crore (Rs 9.01 billion).

HT Media shares fell 0.65 per cent to Rs 91.30 on the BSE on a day the benchmark Sensex gained 2.91 per cent to a record closing high of 22,994.23 points.