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Raj TV recommends bonus, splits face value of share

MUMBAI: Chennai-based Raj Television Network has reported fiscal third quarter operating profit of Rs 7.29 crore (Rs 72.9 million), up 44.6 per cent over the year-ago period. Ebitda margin at 29.3 per cent was higher than 28.9 per cent posted in the earlier year.

Higher tax provisioning along with increased finance costs could not prevent the company from improving its net profit. Net profit for the quarter under review increased to Rs 4.99 crore ( Rs 49.9 mn), up 53 per cent.

Other income of Rs 42.56 lakh ( Rs 4.26 mn) also chipped in, boosting bottomline.

Sales turnover on a standalone basis has grown 42.7 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 24.91 crore (Rs 249.1 million).

Although the cost of production increased in the third quarter to Rs 7.62 crore (Rs 76.2 million), up 5.8 per cent, Raj Television’s share in total revenue declined to 30 per cent, as against 41 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

However, higher employee costs and administrative expenses did have a negative impact on both its operating profits and margins.

Employee costs for the quarter period more than doubled to Rs 6.88 crore (Rs 68.8 million) vis-à-vis Rs 3.07 crore ( Rs 30.7 million) in the previous year’s corresponding quarter. Similarly, administrative and other expenses rose 46.3 per cent to touch Rs 3.13 crore ( Rs 31.3 million).

Apparently, operating expenses have shown an increase of 42 per cent to Rs 17.63 crore (Rs 176.3 million).

Seemingly unimpressed by the equity capital restructuring plan and the paltry dividend recommended by the company’s board of directors, investors and traders have given it the thumbs down.

After a brief pull-back to Rs 540, Raj Television’s share price receded to Rs 521. The counter settled the day at Rs 524.50 per share, down 0.26 per cent on the BSE.

In a meeting held today, Raj Television’s board of directors recommended an interim dividend of 5 per cent or Rs 0.50 per share. The board also approved splitting the company’s equity shares from the present face value of Rs 10.00 to Rs 5.00.

The company will be distributing bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1 to existing shareholders. In order to facilitate the bonus issue, the board gave their approval to an increase in authorised share capital from Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) to Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million).

The company’s board convened an extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders for the purpose of obtaining the approval on 14 March 2014.

Raj Television Network operates channels including Raj TV—an entertainment channel, Raj Digital Plus—an exclusive movie channel, Raj Musix—a music channel in Tamil as well as in Kannada, and Raj News 24×7—a Tamil news channel.

Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus, which are free to air (FTA) in Chennai, are pay channels outside Chennai. Raj Musix and Raj News are FTA channels. The company broadcasts Vissa channel and is also engaged in production and distribution of movies.