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Radio One Q2 PBT up 165% on reduced debt, interest cost

MUMBAI: Next Radio, the radio subsidiary of Next Mediaworks which owns and operates private FM brand Radio One, has posted a whopping 165 per cent jump in its profit before tax (PBT) for the quarter ended 30 September over the year-ago period.

Next Radio MD and CEO Vineet Singh Hukmani said, “Cash generated [in Q2] is up 45 per cent from last year and has resulted in reducing debt significantly, thereby reducing interest costs which has resulted in a high PBT growth.”

PBT for the quarter stood at Rs 2.39 crore (Rs 23.9 million), compared to Rs 0.9 crore (Rs 9 million) in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The radio subsidiary revenue saw a 6.50 per cent jump from Rs 14.14 crore (Rs 141.4 million) in Q2 FY14 to Rs 15.06 crore (Rs 150.0 million) in the quarter under review.

EBIDTA, meanwhile, was up 20 per cent to Rs 6.04 crore (Rs 60.4 million), from Rs 5.03 crore (Rs 50.3 million) in the year-ago period.

EBIDTA margin during the quarter was at 40 per cent, from 36 per cent in the year-ago period.

Hukmani said, “We have succeeded in distancing ourselves significantly in format from the mass leader in all our seven cities by focusing strongly on upscale educated audiences and this polarisation has given us high advertiser traction who are looking to target better.

“This has improved the value of our business at a much lower cost as compared to the industry, resulting in the best EBIDTA margin at 40 per cent.”

The company runs differentiated format radio stations in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai.

Hukmani further added, “We are perfectly poised with our investors/banking partners to renew our licenses and choose lucrative new ones in the upcoming Phase III FM radio auctions. We will continue to invest as we have been doing in our differentiated product combined with digital engagement to connect superlatively with our well profiled listener across India.”

Meanwhile, on a consolidated level, holding company Next Mediaworks Ltd has posted a net loss of Rs 19 lakh (Rs 1.9 million), significantly lower than net loss of Rs 68 lakh (Rs 6.8 million) it had posted in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

Next Mediaworks chairman and MD Tarique Ansari commented, “We are tremendously heartened to see the progress made by our radio subsidiary Radio One is firmly poised to move to the next level with the imminent launch of FM Phase III and as promoters we are prepared to support them through this transition and even better days ahead.”