MUMBAI: Siti Networks Ltd reported a strong growth in EBITDA for the fiscal third quarter while realisation from Phase III of digital addressable system (DAS) jumped 46% with an exit ARPU of Rs 40.
Customer acquisition for the quarter was at 5.4 lakh, taking the multi-system operator’s (MSO) total digital subscriber base to 9.2 million.
Operating EBITDA grew 35% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to Rs 15 crore while revenue was up 5% to Rs 306 crore.
EBITDA at Rs 62 crore was up 25% QoQ.
Net loss reduced to Rs 33.5 crore in the quarter ended 31 December compared to Rs 37.6 crore a quarter ago.
Subscription revenue at Rs 147.5 crore was up 9% QoQ and 35% year-on-year (YoY).
Carriage revenue fell to Rs 72.6 crore in the quarter ended 31 December compared to Rs 75.7 crore a quarter ago. In Q3 of FY16, carriage income was Rs 60.2 crore.
Activation revenue stood at Rs 46.8 crore from Rs 38.3 crore in the trailing quarter.
Commenting on the results, Siti Networks ED and CEO V D Wadhwa said, “Our persistent efforts have resulted in improved monetisation in Phase III DAS areas as we continue to digitise our subscriber base and expand our footprint. At the same time, commencement of prepaid billing will simplify our business model and improve collection efficiency. The expected Tariff Order will provide further impetus to industry cash flows and aid in rapid growth. Although there were some near term headwinds in broadband on account of demonetisation, we remain confident of retaining the momentum in the coming quarters.”
Cable TV biz
To further enhance the collections from the ground, Siti is moving to pre-paid billing from current post-paid mode.
Pre-paid billing has commenced in select states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh across 60 locations. Siti Networks said one million subscribers have migrated to prepaid as of now. The plan is to roll out across India in the near future.
The multi-system operator (MSO) has launched an offer to its subscribers to upgrade standard definition to high definition set-top boxes (STBs). “This will give boost to the adoption of HD content with strong adoption being seen in Phase III and IV areas of DAS,” the company said.
Siti is offering ~50 HD channels across a wide array of genres across geographies.
Since the launch of Siti-Ditto OTT services, the customer base has grown strongly to 31,000 subscribers. Siti is aggressively exploring options with other OTT players to harness growth in this fast expanding space.
The MSO launched more local channels on the lines of My Siti channel. Siti Beats in the music genre provides a wide assortment of melodies, Siti Gold and Siti Filmy will cater to the viewer’s demand of old and new movies and Siti Bhakti in the devotional genre.
Siti Networks plans to roll out high speed DOCSIS 2 and 3 broadband services in five locations by the first quarter of FY18.
Broadband revenue at Rs 25.9 crore was up 4% QoQ and 79% YoY. Siti Networks added ~18,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter ended 31 December. With this, total broadband subscriber base stood at 2.13 lakh.
The company said that new broadband plans were launched in Delhi and Haryana under both limited & unlimited data category to offer more choice to customers.
Siti Networks’ consolidated gross debt stood at Rs 1,267 crore and net debt at Rs 1,157 crore, as of 31 December 2016.