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Viacom18’s net up 15% in FY16 as revenue zooms 27.5%

MUMBAI: With flagship Hindi general entertainment channel Colors firing and growth coming from all the other channels, Viacom18 Media put up a strong performance in FY16 and is looking at a 20% climb in revenues this fiscal.

Viacom18, the equal joint venture company between Mukesh Ambani-controlled TV18 and media conglomerate Viacom, increased its profit by 14.8% to Rs 193.43 crore (Rs 1.93 billion) in FY16 compared to Rs 168.49 crore a year ago.

Profit before tax stood at Rs 250.83 crore, up from Rs 216.74 crore a year ago.

viacom18Revenue rose steeply to Rs 2414.95 crore, which is 27.54% more than Rs 1893.43 crore it earned in the financial year 2014-15.

Advertisement sales, distribution and programme syndication revenue increased 22.33% to Rs 2138.69 crore in FY16 compared to Rs 1748.31 crore a year ago.

Film distribution and syndication revenue more than doubled to Rs 222.12 crore from Rs 99.45 crore due to big releases like ‘Main Gabbar’ and ‘Drishyam’.

Expenses rose 28.39% to Rs 2164.12 crore from Rs 1685.59 crore a year ago. Programming expenses is the biggest cost head for company. It zoomed 26.47% to Rs 1227.4 crore from Rs 970.54 crore.

Marketing and advertisement costs rose 42.28% to Rs 256.21 crore as against Rs 180.07 crore in the year-ago period. The company incurred a cost of Rs 66.6 crore on transmission and uplinking channels compared to Rs 44.8 crore in the trailing fiscal.

Licence fees payout stood at Rs 20.23 crore, up from Rs 16.91 crore. Other distribution cost was up 23.12% to Rs 157.1 crore from Rs 127.6 crore.

In FY16, Viacom18 launched two channels. The company entered the English entertainment space with Colors Infinity, which was launched in Q2. It also launched a kids HD channel, Nick HD+, in Q3.

Viacom18’s portfolio also expanded during the fiscal with the inclusion of Prism TV’s five regional channels ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Odia and ETV Gujarati. Prism TV was merged with Viacom18 after Viacom bought 50% stake in it for Rs 940 crore. The regional channels were re-branded by donning the Colors brand.

Prism TV was subsequently converted to a joint venture of the company from 1 August 2015.

Prism TV’s net loss in FY16 widened to Rs 55.87 crore compared to Rs 134.79 crore.

Revenue from operations expanded 29.17% to Rs 429.47 crore in FY16. Total revenue stood at Rs 433.78 crore. In the previous fiscal, the company’s revenue from operations stood at Rs 332.5 crore.

While advertising revenue stood at Rs 318.77 crore, subscription income was at Rs 110.4 crore. In FY15, ad revenue was at Rs 241.8 crore while subscription income stood at Rs 89.75 crore.

Total expenses dropped 27.97% to Rs 489.65 crore from Rs 382.62 crore.

Viacom18’s combined turnover along with Prism TV stood at Rs 2848.73 crore in FY16. The target is to take this up to around Rs 3,500 crore in FY17.

About 60% of Viacom18’s revenue comes from Colors Hindi and 20-25% from regional and kids channels.