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Balaji Telefilms scripts turnaround story in FY15

MUMBAI: Television and film content powerhouse Balaji Telefilms Ltd (BTL) has achieved a turnaround feat in its consolidated business in the fiscal ended 31 March 2015.

From a net loss (post share of associates) of Rs 17.21 crore (Rs 172.12 million) in FY14, largely due to its motion pictures business, the company has posted a net profit of Rs 5.62 crore (Rs 56.16 million) in FY15.

This turnaround is despite a 15 per cent dip in its topline. BTL registered operating revenue of Rs 346.49 crore (Rs 3.46 billion) in the fiscal, as against Rs 407.46 crore (Rs 4.07 billion) in the previous fiscal.

BTL also posted an operating profit (EBITDA) of Rs 6.06 crore (Rs 60.62 million) in the fiscal, as against an EBITDA loss of Rs 21.78 crore (Rs 217.78 million) in FY14. In the previous fiscal, the earnings were higher from film releases and commissioning of shows, which, in turn, had damaged its operating efficiency.

Standalone business

BTL’s television production business reported a higher net profit in the fiscal. Standalone net profit went up by 22.5 per cent to Rs 12.27 crore (Rs 122.7 million) in FY15 compared to Rs 10.02 crore (Rs 100.2 million) a year ago.

Revenue jumped 59 per cent to Rs 205.76 crore (Rs 2.06 billion), from Rs 129.20 crore (Rs 1.29 billion) in the prior fiscal.

EBITDA jumped 167.65 per cent to Rs 12.74 crore (Rs 127.4 million), compared to Rs 4.76 crore (Rs 47.6 million) in the earlier-year period.

Revenue from commissioned programming, however, jumped to Rs 233.4 crore (Rs 2.33 billion) from Rs 133.48 crore (Rs 1.33 billion) a year ago.

Operating profit from commissioned programming also rose to Rs 30.96 crore (Rs 309.59 million), from Rs 21.21 crore (Rs 212.14 million) in the year-ago period.

Balaji Motion Pictures Ltd

The net loss from the motion pictures business during the fiscal was at Rs 5.36 crore (Rs 53.6 million), compared to a net loss of Rs 26.28 crore (Rs 262.8 million) in the year-ago period.

Revenue from films, which stood at Rs 271.34 crore (Rs 2.71 billion) during FY14, was down at Rs 109.19 crore (Rs 1.09 billion) in the recently concluded fiscal.

BTL’s operating loss from film business also came down from Rs 25.83 crore (Rs 258.3 million) in the previous fiscal to Rs 5.69 crore (Rs 56.9 million) in FY15.

Bolt Media Ltd

The company registered a net profit of Rs 18 lakh (Rs 1.8 million) from its subsidiary Bolt Media Ltd, compared to a net loss of Rs 93 lakh (Rs 9.3 million) in the previous fiscal.

Revenue stood at Rs 14.03 crore (Rs 140.3 million), compared to Rs 4.75 crore (Rs 47.5 million) in FY14. EBITDA was at Rs 24 lakh (Rs 2.4 million), compared to an EBITDA loss of Rs 71 lakh (Rs 7.1 million) in the year-ago period.

Marinating Films

Marinating Films Pvt Ltd, where BTL picked up a 51 per cent stake in December last year, posted a net loss of Rs 1.71 crore (Rs 17.1 million) on a revenue of Rs 4.32 crore (Rs 43.2 million).

Event Media

The 51:49 joint venture with Select Media, which was formed in October 2014, posted a net loss of Rs 45 lakh (Rs 4.5 million) on a revenue of Rs 9.18 crore (Rs 91.8 million). Operating loss stood at Rs 32 lakh (Rs 3.2 million).

Q4 standalone biz

BTL has painted a much better financial picture in the exit quarter of the fiscal compared to the year-ago period.

Net profit from the standalone business grew to Rs 9.61 crore (Rs 96.1 million), from Rs 13 lakh (Rs 1.3 million) a year ago. The company clarified that the jump was because of increase in number of TV shows and other income of Rs 5.25 crore (Rs 52.49 million).

Revenue during the quarter stood at Rs 59.51 crore (Rs 595.1 million), up from Rs 39.61 crore (Rs 396.1 million).

EBITDA grew to Rs 7.67 crore (Rs 76.7 million), from Rs 4.67 crore (Rs 46.7 million) in the prior year.

The company said that lower margin was because of launch of a new show, which takes at least a quarter to stabilise. BTL’s ‘Kalash-Ek Vishwaas’ was launched on Life OK in March.

Total hours for Hindi commissioned programmes stood at 258 hours during the quarter compared to 173 hours in the earlier year.

Average realisation per hour from commissioned programming was at Rs 23.06 lakh (Rs 2.31 million) compared to Rs 22.90 lakh (Rs 2.29 million) in Q4 FY14.