HT Media Q2 net loss narrows by 51% to Rs 22 cr

MUMBAI: HT Media has narrowed its consolidated net loss by 51% for the quarter ended 30th September to Rs 22 crore as against Rs 44 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal.

EBITDA for the quarter increased 139% to Rs 81 crore compared to Rs 34 crore in the previous fiscal driven by softening of newsprint prices and continued focus on cost. The EBITDA margin stood at 14% compared to 6% a year ago.

Total revenue remained flat at Rs 580 crore compared to Rs 571 crore.

Operating revenue from print media was down 3% at Rs 438 crore as against Rs 452 crore. Ad revenue from the segment was down 6% to Rs 342 crore. EBITDA increased 516% to Rs 48 crore.

The company noted that ad revenue declined due to sluggish volumes, even as yields improved. It further stated that national advertising continues to be soft, although Local advertising witnessed growth. Overall operating revenue declined on the back of circulation revenue drop as well. The EBITDA margins improved due to savings in raw material.

Operating revenue from radio business increased 27% to Rs 59 crore while operating EBITDA declined 22% to Rs 12 crore.

The company stated that operating performance impacted by soft advertising environment. Key categories such as Government, Real Estate, Healthcare, and BFSI remained soft. Radio revenue (ex-NMW) witnessed a decline of 7% YoY. There was growth in FMCG and Automobile categories. It also stated that the integration of ‘Radio One’ is on track.

“Slowing economic growth has hit advertising spends in key categories, putting pressure on revenues across the media industry. As a result, our Print and Radio (on like to like basis) businesses saw revenues dip as compared to a year-ago. However, thanks to lower commodity prices and tight control on costs, we saw an improvement in our operating profit,” HT Media Ltd & Hindustan Media Ventures Chairperson and Editorial Director Shobhana Bhartia.

“On the digital front, Shine, our online recruitment portal has shown good progress and continues to grow. Our outlook for the coming quarter remains cautious, given overall economic sentiment and macroeconomic trends. Cost-control and falling commodity prices should help protect our margins.”

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