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Balaji Telefilms’ standalone net profit contracts in Q2

MUMBAI: TV production house Balaji Telefilms’ standalone net profit has contracted to Rs 4.4 crore (Rs 44 million) in the fiscal second quarter compared to Rs 6.9 crore a year ago.

EBITDA dropped to Rs 6.1 crore in Q2 from Rs 9.2 crore a year ago. The company attributed the fall in EBITDA to shows that were coming to an end, coupled with recently launched shows where margins take some time to improve.

The company’s revenue grew to Rs 61.6 crore from Rs 53.2 crore due to an increase in hours of programming, coupled with better realisation. Cost of production jumped to Rs 46.93 crore from Rs 36.31 crore.

Programming hours during the quarter increased to 231 hours compared to 199 hours a year ago due to certain special episodes being commissioned during the quarter for daily soaps.

Programming revenue rose to Rs 60.9 crore from Rs 48.3 crore. Realisation per hour improved to Rs 26.3 lakh (Rs 2.63 million) compared to Rs 24.3 lakh (Rs 2.43 million) in the year-ago period due to better episodic fees.

Television business operating kpis 01
Gross margin dropped to Rs 14.7 crore in Q2 as against 16.9 crore a year ago. Gross margin per hour fell to Rs 6.4 lakh from Rs 8.5 lakh. Gross margin, Balaji said, will improve once the newer shows stabilise.

Consolidated net loss at Rs 28 crore

On a consolidated basis including Balaji’s motion pictures and digital business, the company swung into losses in the fiscal second quarter.

The company posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 28 crore for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 compared to a net profit of Rs 3.81 crore a year ago.

EBITDA loss stood at Rs 26.2 crore in Q2 compared to EBITDA of Rs 6.3 crore in the earlier year.

Consolidated revenues almost doubled to Rs 105.9 crore from Rs 55.1 crore. Cost of production jumped to Rs 115.87 crore from Rs 36.75 crore.

TV shows

During the quarter, the company had a total of nine shows running, of which two shows (‘Ye Kahan Aa Gaye Hum’ and ‘Mazak Mazak Mein’) were on air for only part of the quarter.

Continuing to expand its programming across weekday and weekend slots, the company launched three new shows (‘Naagin 2’ on Colors, ‘Chandra Nandni’ and ‘Pardes Mein Hai Meraa Dill’ on Star Plus) post 30 September.

Balaji Motion Pictures

Net loss from movie business increased almost 15 times to Rs 30.5 crore in Q2 compared to Rs 2 crore a year ago.

EBITDA loss widened to Rs 28 crore versus Rs 1.9 crore a year ago.

Income from operations shot up to Rs 43.2 crore from Rs 1.6 crore. In the previous fiscal year, the company did not have any movie release during the second quarter.

The company said that the collection of critically acclaimed movie ‘Udta Punjab’ was significantly affected due to piracy of the movie ahead of its theatrical release. It also successfully sold satellite rights for ‘A Flying Jatt’.

Further, the production of ‘Half Girlfriend’ (mid budget film) and ‘Super Singh’ (Punjabi regional film) has already commenced and the films are expected to release in FY18.

As on 30 September, the company has invested Rs 44.1 crore in movies that are under production.

In order to derive greater operational synergies and reduce costs, Bolt Media and film production business Balaji Motion Pictures were merged into Balaji Telefilms.

The company has invested Rs 176.3 crore in mutual fund units until 30 September, of which Rs 130 crore was through ALT Digital and Rs 45.2 crore through Balaji Telefilms and Rs 11 million in Marinating Films.

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