DEN turns around at net level in Q2, deploys 2.5 lakh STBs

MUMBAI: Multi system operator (MSO) DEN Networks has turned net positive on a consolidated level with a net profit of Rs 1 crore during the quarter ending September as compared to last quarter.

EBITDA jumped 33% to Rs 82 crore from Rs 61 crore. Revenue increased by 5% to Rs 328 crore from Rs 313 crore. Expenditure saw a 6% reduction at Rs 114 crore from Rs 121 crore.

The cable TV business posted also turned around with a net profit of Rs 10 crore compared to a loss of Rs 2 crore in the trailing quarter. EBITDA jumped 37% to Rs 83 crore from Rs 61 crore.

Revenue was up 6% to Rs 308 crore from Rs 291 crore. Expenditure was down 7% to Rs 93 crore from Rs 100 crore.

The company said it has been able to accelerate its subscription collections particularly in Phase 3 and 4 markets. Cable subscription income was up 7% to Rs 164 crore. Content costs fell 1% to Rs 132 crore.

The MSO deployed 250,000 set top boxes (STBs) during the quarter to take its total digital cable TV base to 11 million. The subscription collection efficiency for the quarter was 93%.

The company’s net loss from broadband business stood at Rs 9 crore as against Rs 8 crore in the trailing quarter. After posting an EBITDA of Rs 1 crore in the previous quarter, the MSO posted an EBITDA loss of Rs 1 crore due to roll-out in new cities. Revenue and expenditure stood at Rs 20 crore and Rs 21 crore respectively.

The company said it rolled-out broadband in 10 new small towns which had a marginal impact on the EBITDA.

After rolling out broadband in select 10 towns across 4 states, the company expects the offtake to be visible from early FY 18-19 while the next phase of roll out in additional 10 towns is in pipeline.

It added 12,000 gross subscribers to take the total base to 2.05 lakh. Homes passed stood at 879,000. Average data consumption stood at 78 GB/ month while ARPU stood at Rs 554. DEN said it is focussed on longer duration subscription plans resulting in better collections.

DEN has partnered with BARC India for measuring TV viewership using Return Path Data (RPD). This will act as an excellent data analytic tool to understand the subscriber viewing patterns which will open up new revenue streams with respect to packaging opportunities and to drive advertising revenue on our in-house channels.

As informed earlier, Den had implemented a host of technology initiatives including gaming services, WiFi USB dongle for its HD boxes, OTT services which have close to 2.4 lakh customers currently.

The company has exited the Soccer & TV commerce business completely in line with its strategy to focus on core business of cable & broadband.

DEN Networks CEO SN Sharma said, “DEN has been able to improve operational performance consistently every quarter with a constant focus on increasing the subscription collections on the ground with a much-controlled cost base. By tying up with BARC India, Den has taken the initial steps to build world-class analytics to understand & serves customers effectively. We are very confident of sustaining the current performance in future as well.”

The company’s gross and net debt stood at Rs 493 crore and Rs 133 crore.

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