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TV Today Q3 net zooms 34.5%, radio biz cuts losses

MUMBAI: TV Today Network, which operates leading Hindi news channel Aaj Tak and English news channel Headlines Today, has posted a strong fiscal third-quarter net profit and revenue growth from its news business.

Overall, television news operations spearheaded the topline growth while radio business recorded lower losses this time around.

TV Today’s standalone net profit during the quarter surged 34.3 per cent to Rs 20.64 crore ( Rs 206.46 million), from Rs 15.35 crore ( Rs 153.53 million) a year ago.

A combination of factors helped it to collect higher net profit in the third quarter. These included a 50 per cent rise in other income to Rs 2.73 crore (Rs 27.3 million) and a 44 per cent drop in finance cost to Rs 82.07 lakh (Rs 8.20 million).
During the quarter under review, TV Today’s total income from operations rose 23.2 per cent to Rs 111.42 crore ( Rs 1.11 billion), from Rs 90.44 crore ( Rs 904.37 million) a year ago.

During the quarter under review, TV Today logged 22.7 per cent rise in broadcasting revenues at Rs 110.9 crore (Rs 1.10 billion). The company continued to derive benefit from its leadership position in the Hindi news genre.

While most news broadcasters are not in very good shape, for TV Today this was the sixth straight quarter of positive bottomline.

Meanwhile, total expenses grew from Rs 75.21 crore ( Rs 752.1 million) in Q3FY13 to Rs 82.23 crore ( Rs 822.33 million) in the quarter under review.

Employee costs, carriage fees and production costs continued to dominate the operating expenditure pie. Advertising/distribution and sales promotion expenses have grown nine per cent quarter-on-quarter basis to Rs 25 crore ( Rs 249.96 million) while employee cost and production expenses increased.

However, in spite of steady growth in operating expenses, the company’s operating profit (EBITDA) grew 62.4 per cent to Rs 35.22 crore ( Rs 352.2 million).

Meanwhile, TV broadcasting business, which accounts for 96 per cent of the total revenue, benefited from Aaj Tak’s reach in the Hindi heartland and its appeal to different audiences. The segment clocked 21.7 per cent growth in revenue to Rs 107.05 crore ( Rs 1.07 billion). Profit from the segment was at Rs 33.74 crore ( Rs 337.46 million).

The FM radio business revenue (Oye FM), which accounted for a mere 4 per cent of the total revenue, expanded 76 per cent to Rs 4.36 crore ( Rs 43.6 million) during the quarter under review, from Rs 2.47 crore ( Rs 24.7 million) a year ago.

The radio segment operating loss was at Rs 2.89 crore ( Rs 28.9 million) as against operating loss of Rs 3.20 crore ( Rs 32 million) for the earlier-year quarter.

TV Today’s strategic investment of Rs 45.52 crore ( Rs 455.2 million) in Mail Today Newspapers is in the initial stage of operations and is presently incurring losses.