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Zee Media Q3 net down 48% to Rs 5.92 crore
MUMBAI: Zee Media Corporation Ltd (erstwhile Zee News Ltd) has posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 5.92 crore ( Rs 59.18 million) for the quarter ended 31 December, down 48 per cent from Rs 11.37 crore ( Rs 113.72 million) it posted in the corresponding quarter of previous fiscal.
The company reported operating revenue of Rs 91.68 crore ( Rs 916.8 million), up 6.8 per cent from Rs 85.84 crore ( Rs 858.4 million) YoY. While its subscription revenue saw a 21.6 per cent jump over the year-ago period, advertising revenue remained sluggish with a 3.1 per cent growth. During the quarter, ad revenue constituted 67 per cent of ZMCL’s revenue, while 29.4 per cent was from subscription.
“The reason for 3.1 per cent ad revenue growth was a sluggish economy and uncertainty over ad cap. First of all, the festive season was not buoyant. Moreover, there was uncertainty about the ad cap. The advance deals were done on keeping the 12-minute cap in mind. Later, while news channels got relief, there was opportunity loss,” ZMCL whole time director Alok Agrawal explained.
“Subscription is seeing the benefit of digitisation. News as a category was heavily under declared. Now we are seeing gains there,” he added.
Agrawal said that during the quarter ZMCL’s business news channel Zee Business became leader in the genre and managed to increase ad rates by up to 70 per cent. Similarly, 20 per cent rate hike was achieved on Zee 24 Taas, the Marathi news channel.
“Other channels did not enjoy the same, and we have invested a lot in new channel launches and business restructuring, which will help in getting solid growth in FY14–15,” he added.
ZMCL’s expenses increased 16.9 per cent in the quarter to reach Rs 77.38 crore ( Rs 773.8 million), from Rs 66.17 crore ( Rs 661.7 million).
EBITDA was down 27.3 per cent to Rs 14.3 crore ( Rs 143 million), from Rs 19.67 crore ( Rs 196.7 million) in the year-ago period.
From existing business, ZMCL’s EBITDA stood at 22.87 crore ( Rs 228.7 million) on revenue of Rs 83.9 crore ( Rs 839 million). From new business, it suffered EBITDA loss of Rs 8.57 crore ( Rs 85.7 million) on a revenue of Rs 7.78 crore ( Rs 77.8 million).
ZMCL non-executive chairman Subhash Chandra said, “Even as the global and domestic macro-economic environment poses challenges to growth, the private sector in the country has shown immense resilience to tide over the short-term problems of a sluggish economy. With signs of inflation stabilising over the next few months, the growth momentum, especially in the private sector, is likely to pick up. On its part, ZMCL has always stayed ahead in anticipating issues affecting the company performance in the long term. We have moved towards a more integrated approach to the news consumer by taking forward the process of bringing the news television, print and the internet together. Our continued expansion in strategic growth markets is another indication of how we are looking to leverage the growing economy.”
ZMCL group CEO News cluster Bhaskar Das added, “In order to fulfil our commitment of providing quality content for our regional viewer, we have recently introduced locally produced programming in Zee Marudhara. Additionally, we would be launching Zee Kalinga servicing Odisha market and have rebranded Maurya TV, which we acquired, as Zee Purvaiya. Our new channels launched in the current financial year have had significant growth in viewership with Zee Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh becoming the number two channel in a few months of its launch and Zee Marudhara increasing its GTVTs by over four times in the quarter as opposed to the previous one. New media growth numbers too have been encouraging with zeenews.com registering an increase of 28.2 per cent in visits.”
During the quarter, ZMCL has restaged Zee News channel with refreshed programming and look and feel to make it more contemporary and youth-oriented.