GTPL Hathway slips into loss in Q4 due to impairment of receivables worth Rs 65 cr

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MUMBAI: Cable TV and broadband service provider GTPL Hathway has slipped into loss in fourth quarter ended 31st March due to impairment loss worth Rs 65 crore from the implementation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new regulatory framework for broadcasting & cable services sector.

GTPL Hathway posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 28.1 crore in Q4 FY19 as against a net profit of Rs 18.5 crore in Q3 FY19. EBITDA was up 24% at Rs 103.6 crore compared to Rs 83.3 crore in the trailing quarter. EBITDA margin stood at 29.7% compared to 26%.

Revenue increased 9% at Rs 348.8 crore from Rs 319.9 crore. Cable TV subscription revenue was up 16% at Rs 208.3 crore from Rs 179.8 crore. Broadband revenue remained flat at Rs 36.4 crore compared to Rs 36.2 crore. Placement revenue fell 27% to Rs 52.1 crore from 71.2 crore.

Total expenditure increased 4% to 245.1 crore while the pay channel cost was down 15% to Rs 117.3 crore.

“In view of the New Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting & Cable services sector notified by the TRAI, which has come into effect during the quarter, resulting into changes in pricing mechanism & arrangements amongst the Company, LCOs and Broadcasters; the Management, based on a review, has provided for impairment of trade receivables aggregating to Rs 650 million,” the company said in its Q4 results announcement.

“These adjustments, having one-time, non-routine material impact on financial results, hence been disclosed as “Exceptional Item” in financial results,” it further stated.

The company’s consolidated net profit for FY19 nosedived by 69% to Rs 19.1 crore from Rs 61.4 crore in FY18. EBITDA was up 14% at Rs 361.5 crore while the EBITDA margin stood at 28%.

Revenue registered a 16% increase at Rs 1289.2 crore from Rs 1113.4 crore. Cable TV subscription revenue grew 26% to 733.2 crore while broadband revenue remained flat at Rs 144.2 crore. Placement revenue was up 2% at Rs 261 crore.

Expenditure was up 17% at Rs 927.6 crore while the pay channel cost saw a 17% increase at Rs 513.8 crore.

Commenting on performance, GTPL Hathway MD Aniruddhasinh Jadeja said, “GTPL Hathway turned another year of impressive operating performance. Our FY19 consolidated revenue and EBITDA are up by 16% and 14% respectively. The company has successfully implemented New Tariff Order (NTO) across its subscriber base and has transformed the entire LCO base to auto-dunning. With NTO in place, GTPL will now look at increasing footprints in existing market through expansion and venture into new markets through acquisitions and consolidations.”

Cable TV

GTPL successfully implemented NTO (New Tariff Order) and migrated all subscribers to new packages. The company was the first MSO in the industry to offer versatile language-wise regional package, providing true choice to customers

GTPL seeded 800,000 STBs during FY 2019, taking total seeded STBs as on 31st March, 2019 to 9.50 million. Digital paying subscribers as on 31st March, 2019 stood at 6.8 million, declined by 200,000 due implementations of NTO and transformation of entire local cable operator (LCO) base to auto-dunning model.

Phase wise seeded set top boxes (STBs) as on 31st March, 2019 for Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4 were at 0.86 million, 2.21 million, 2.92 million and 3.51 million respectively.

Broadband

During Q4, the company added 270,000 Home Pass. Home Pass as on 31st March, 2019 stood at 2.42 million. The company added 15,000 broadband subscribers (net) during Q4 and 10,000 FTTX subscribers.

Net subscribers added during FY19 were 45,000. Total subscribers as on 31st March, 2019 were 325,000 of which 54,000 are FTTX subscribers. The Broadband average revenue per user (ARPU) for FY19 was Rs 440.

The Board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 1 (10%) per equity share of face value Rs. 10 for the year ended 31st March 2019 subject to shareholder’s approval at the ensuing AGM.


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