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HT Media Q4 net impacted due to higher interest payment

MUMBAI: Print major HT Media, which also runs FM radio networks and multiple digital businesses, posted a 0.8% growth in net profit for the quarter ended 31 March 2016 due to higher interest paid towards debt in the radio business.

The fiscal fourth-quarter net profit stood at Rs 49.7 crore (Rs 497 million) compared to Rs 49.3 crore (Rs 493 million) a year ago.

Revenue rose 9.2% to Rs 684.4 crore (Rs 6.84 billion) from Rs.626.7 crore a year ago.

EBITDA stood at Rs 123.2 crore (Rs 1.23 billion), up 25.6% from Rs 98.1 crore (Rs 981 million) in the previous year.

Advertising revenue grew 8.5% to Rs 496.7 crore (Rs 4.97 billion) mostly due to an increase in advertising volumes while circulation revenue rose 6.4% to Rs 75.7 crore (Rs 757 million).

Employee costs climbed 7.2% to Rs.130.6 crore (Rs 1.31 billion) due to new hiring and increments.

For the full-fiscal period, net profit fell 1.7% to Rs 214.2 crore (Rs 2.14 billion).

Revenue increased 8.1% to Rs 2,655.1 crore (Rs 26.55 billion). Revenue from the radio business was up 17.7% to Rs 117 crore (Rs 1.17 billion) in FY16.

HT Media’s digital business, which comprises, and Digital Quotient, jumped 35% to Rs 140.3 crore (Rs 1.4 billion).

“All our businesses grew in the quarter and we are happy to close the year on a positive note. The Hindi business outperformed the market and we witnessed the return of growth in the English business,” HT Media chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia said in a statement.

“Our new businesses are doing well. HT Mumbai has established itself as a clear alternative in Mumbai. We also launched Radio Nasha 107.2 in Delhi, becoming the only radio business in the region with two stations. Our digital business showed significant revenue growth and reduced losses. This year is rich with opportunities to expand our reach and offerings. We believe that we are well placed to tap these and that our innovative strategies, prudent and timely investments, and world-class execution will continue to differentiate us from the competition,” she added.