Balaji returns to profitability in Q3 due to strong rev growth in TV, digital biz

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms has returned to profitability with a net profit of Rs 13.8 crore for the quarter ended 31st December compared to a net loss of Rs 27.3 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal.

The company posted a consolidated operating profit of Rs 39.5 crore against an operating loss of Rs 26.2 crore in the previous fiscal. Total income from operations surged to Rs 187.9 crore from Rs 96.3 crore after the elimination of Rs 34.53 crore. Expenditure stood at Rs 158.7 crore compared to Rs 126.9 crore.

 

Balaji Telefilms MD Shobha Kapoor said, “This quarter has been one of our best profitable quarter and we continue to focus on creating good content. We will continue to focus on growing the business profitably, investing in high-quality content and utilising our existing cash reserves to create profitable growth, as we have been doing.”

The standalone TV production business recorded revenue of Rs 194.78 crore compared to Rs 111.3 crore due to increase in the number of hours of TV production, content production for ALTBalaji/ZEE5, and release of Dream Girl in the movies business

Revenue from ALTBalaji increased to Rs 23.14 crore from Rs 8 crore a year ago. For 9M FY20, ALTBalaji’s revenue is at Rs 55.7 cr against Rs 41.8 crore for full year FY19.

The company said that the direct to consumer billing continues to grow as ALTBalaji has pivoted from multi-partner (free to customer) to a single partner (behind paywall) environment.

ALTBalaji has co-produced 14 shows to date with ZE5 and available only on ALTBalaji and ZEE5 platform. 43 shows produced prior to September 2019 available exclusively on ALTBalaji taking the total library of shows to 57.

The platform’s user profile is Males 75:Female 25 and 75% of the user base is between the ages of 18 and 35. The company noted that ALTBalaji continues to remain in the Top 5 paid apps in the country, active direct subscribers over 1.5 million. Watch time per subscriber continues to remain at the hour mark, despite constant growth user base.

As far as the TV business is concerned, Balaji Telefilms produced 219 hours of content in the quarter at an average realisation of Rs 0.37 crore/hour. In the previous fiscal, the total programming hours stood at 199 and average realisation was Rs 0.40 crore/hour. Revenue stood at Rs 81.96 crore compared to Rs 79.3 crore.

The company stated that the programming hours improved due to the new show launches towards the end of the quarter. Gross margins, it stated, continue to remain strong driven by better operating efficiencies and overall cost control including new shows.

It had nine shows on air during the quarter. Two new shows launched during the quarter while 2 shows came to an end. Yeh Hai Chahatein, a spin-off show based on Yeh Hai Mohabbatein has been launched. Naagin Season 4 launched, replacing Kaavach 2, solidifying the franchise for weekend fiction shows.

Balaji said that its shows contribute 15% of Prime Time Rating.

In the movie business, Dream Girl, produced by Balaji Telefilms, grossed over Rs 140 crore at the box office. The company has announced three new projects taking the total pipeline for FY21 to 4 movies – Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Villain 2, KTina, and Pagglait. Balaji continues to remain conservative with the investments in movies, and continue to do co-production deals where possible.

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