HT Media Q1 net falls 86% to Rs 6 cr

MUMBAI: Media company HT Media’s net profit has fallen 86% to Rs 6 crore for the quarter ended 31 March compared to Rs 42 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal.

Operating EBITDA fell 49% to Rs 36 crore as against Rs 70 crore in the year ago period. Operating revenue fell 7% to Rs 542 crore compared to Rs 584 crore.

The operating EBITDA from print business dropped 34% to Rs 65 crore from Rs 97 crore. Operating revenue was down 7% to Rs 478 crore compared to Rs 513 crore.

Ad revenue declined 7% to Rs 390 crore while circulation revenue was down 3% to Rs 69 crore.

Radio business operating EBITDA expanded 27% to Rs 14 crore from Rs 11 crore. Operating revenue was up 11% at Rs 47 crore compared to Rs 42 crore.

Commenting on the results and performance, HT Media and Hindustan Media Ventures chairperson and Editorial Director Shobhana Bhartia said, “Advertising budgets continued to shrink, affecting growth despite a favourable base effect. Our revenue growth was also hit by persisting macroeconomic challenges, although the impact of RERA and GST implementation are both waning, with businesses getting used to them. Our operating performance was also impacted by higher newsprint prices. Amidst this, our radio business continued to grow in the double digits and delivered yet another quarter of superior performance even as it improved its profitability. Our products are superior, brands strong and fundamentals of the business solid; but we do anticipate some short-term pressure on both growth and profitability.”

The company has also decided to merge metro radio business of HT Media with radio business of Next Mediaworks. Metro markets contribute 60-65% of the total radio advertising revenues.

The merged entity will have the widest reach in the top 7 metro markets. This will also bring benefits of synergy which will help in further strengthening the
operating margins.

Consequent to implementation of proposed transaction, HT Media and its shareholders will hold 74% of the equity share capital of NMW while current shareholders of NRL and NMW will hold the balance 26%.

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