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TV18’s Q4 EBITDA from news biz impacted by employee cost

MUMBAI: TV18’s news business reported a 3.66% drop in net profit for the quarter ended 31 March 2016 even as revenue saw a double-digit growth.

TV18’s standalone net profit in the fiscal fourth quarter fell to Rs 58.67 crore (Rs 586.7 million), from Rs 60.9 crore (Rs 609 million) a year ago.

EBITDA stood similar to net profit and was impacted by employee cost. EBITDA margin stood at 29.9% in the fiscal fourth quarter compared to 33.3% in the earlier year.

Income from operations during the quarter jumped 11.17% to Rs 196.19 crore (Rs 1.96 billion) compared to Rs 176.47 crore (Rs 1.76 billion) in the earlier year.

Total expenses increased 15.44% to Rs 139.96 crore (Rs 1.4 billion), from Rs 121.23 crore (Rs 1.21 billion).

Marketing, distribution and promotional expenses declined 4.31% to Rs 21.29 crore (Rs 212.9 million) from Rs 22.25 crore (Rs 222.5 million) while employee benefit expense stood at Rs 43.91 crore (Rs 439.1 million), which is an increase of 22.07%.

Statement of Standalone Financial Results for the Quarter and year ended 31 st march, 2016

The standalone results include the network’s general and business news channels including CNN-IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz, and CNBC Bajaar.

Full-fiscal performance

For the full fiscal, the company’s net profit increased more than eight times to Rs 122.88 crore (Rs 1.23 billion) from Rs 14.63 crore (Rs 146.3 million) a year ago. However, the net profit is not strictly comparable as the company had exceptional items expense of Rs 121.34 crore (Rs 1.21 billion) in the previous fiscal.

Total income from operations rose to Rs 626.18 crore (Rs 6.26 billion), up 3.39% to Rs 605.6 crore (Rs 6.06 billion) a year ago.

Total expenses jumped 9.68% to Rs 512.7 crore (Rs 5.13 billion) from Rs 467.42 crore (Rs 4.67 billion) in the year-ago period.

In FY15, profitability was significantly influenced by ad income on account of the general elections.

Marketing, distribution and promotional expenses increased almost 4% to Rs 90.24 crore (Rs 902.4 million) from Rs 86.79 crore (Rs 867.9 million) a year ago. Employee benefits expense rose 11.82% to Rs 168.79 crore (Rs 1.69 billion) from Rs 150.94 crore (Rs 1.51 billion).

Business news highlights for the quarter

The company said that CNBC-TV18, its English business news channel, had 50% share amongst affluent viewers and reached out to more than 33 million viewers in the quarter.

CNBC-TV18 reinvented its programming bouquet with new shows and formats to meet the needs of the changing viewer preferences and brought on board the biggest fundamental guests and technical analysts for a daily analysis of stock movements.

During budget week, CNBC-TV18 garnered a record 72% viewership amongst English business news channel viewers as per BARC, TV18 Broadcast stated.

According to TV18, Hindi business news channel CNBC Awaaz had more than 56 million viewers tuning in to the channel and garnering 63% market in Hindi-speaking market, which includes urban and rural.

The channel garnered 81% market share amongst core business news viewers in HSM Urban during the market hours in the Union Budget week.

Gujarati business news channel CNBC Bajar, which is the only channel in its segment, reached out to more than 6.5 million viewers during the quarter.

General news highlights for the quarter

CNN-IBN reached out to more than 33 million viewers. The channel had garnered large viewership on the budget day on the back of a slew of special programming including ‘Axe The Tax’, ‘If I were FM’ which highlighted expectations of the people, ‘Budget Yatra’, an on ground reality check of promises made in the past Budget, ‘Budget on Campus’ that asked what the students expected from the Budget and ‘Kickstarting India’, a show that looked at what people working in startups wanted from the Budget.

IBN7 reached out to 202 million viewers during the quarter. It did various investigative exposes during the quarter.

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