BCCL FY18 net profit slips 27% amid flat rev growth

MUMBAI: Media conglomerate Bennett Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL) has seen its net profit slip by 27% to Rs 607 crore for the year ended March 2018 compared to Rs 827 crore in the year ago period. In the previous fiscal, the net profit had dipped 26.61% to Rs 827 crore as against Rs 1127 crore in FY16.

BCCL’s PAT margin stood at 9.7% compared to 13.4% in the prior fiscal.

The company’s revenue has seen a flattish growth of 1.25% at Rs 6230 crore compared to Rs 6153 crore in the trailing fiscal. In FY17, the revenue had de-grown by 3.14% to Rs 6125 crore as against Rs 6324 crore in FY16.

Key Financial Indicators

As on 31 March 2018, its net worth has increased to Rs 12,259 crore compared to Rs 10,715 crore in the year ago period.

BCCL’s debt has risen 4.5 times to Rs 937 crore in FY18. In the previous fiscal, the debt was moderate at Rs 207 crore.

The company’s liquidity has increased by Rs 500 crore to Rs 3,700 crore from Rs 3,200 crore in the previous fiscal.

BCCL’s exposure to its subsidiaries (including equity, and loans and advances) amounted to a substantial Rs 4254 crore (around 35% of net worth). The amount was Rs 3,269 crore (30% of net worth) as on 31 March 2017.

The company’s investment in BCB (advertisement space is sold in exchange for equity/debt/immovable property of the BCB partner) has increased to Rs 5000 crore from Rs 4,000 crore.

Credit rating agency Crisil had recently assigned a rating of A1+ to the company’s Rs. 450 crore commercial paper. It has also reaffirmed its outstanding ratings on the company’s bank loan facilities and non-convertible debentures at AAA/Stable.

The ratings, Crisil noted, continue to reflect BCCL’s strong market position as India’s largest newspaper publishing group, comfortable operating efficiency, and robust financial risk profile.

It further added that these strengths are partially offset by vulnerability to volatile global newsprint prices and economic cycles, sizeable exposure to subsidiaries and group companies in the gestation phase, and large investment in the brand capital business (BCB).

BCCL, the flagship company of the largest media conglomerate in India, the Times group, is a family-owned business, held by the Jain family. The company, incorporated in 1913, along with its group companies, has diversified into various media and entertainment businesses – print, television, radio, music, OOH (out of home) advertising, and the internet.

Newspaper publishing, which is its largest business segment, of daily publications like The Times of India and The Economic Times in English, Navbharat Times in Hindi, Nav Gujarat Samay in Gujarati, Maharashtra Times in Marathi, Vijay Karnataka in Kannada, and Ei Samay in Bengali. It publishes magazines, Filmfare and Femina.

The group has a presence in radio broadcasting under the Radio Mirchi brand through its subsidiary, Entertainment Network (India), in which the promoter group holds 71.15% equity stake.

It is present in television through Zoom TV (youth entertainment channel), Times Now (English news channel), ET Now (business news channel), Romedy Now, Movies Now, and Movies Now Plus (movie channels).

The internet properties of the group are operated through a wholly owned subsidiary, Times Internet.

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