Jagran Q2 net drops 38% as rev falls, cost escalates

MUMBAI: Hindi daily Dainik Jagran’s publisher Jagran Prakashan’s consolidated net profit has dropped 38% at Rs 44.88 crore compared to Rs 72.23 crore in its previous fiscal.

Operating profit has fallen 28% to Rs 99.6 crore from Rs 138.6 crore in the year-ago period. EBITDA margin stood at 18% compared to 24.5%.

The company’s revenue has dropped 2% to Rs 553.4 crore compared to Rs 566.5 crore. Ad revenue was down at Rs 398.5 crore compared to Rs 421.5 crore. Subscription revenue was up 3.8% at Rs 110.4 crore compared to Rs 106.3 crore.

Expenses jumped to Rs 453.8 crore from Rs 427.9 crore due to increase in raw material, manpower and other operating expenses.

Radio operating profit stood at Rs 26.56 crore compared to Rs 24.22 crore. Revenue was up at Rs 80.14 crore compared to Rs 75.82 crore. Digital operating profit narrowed to Rs 2.95 crore from Rs 4.44 crore while revenue expanded to Rs 11.48 crore from Rs 8.49 crore.

Commenting on the performance of the company, Jagran Prakashan CMD Mahendra Mohan Gupta said, “The quarter unexpectedly delivered disappointing results in spite of our best efforts such as taking the increase in cover prices wherever possible and keeping the cost under check. We could mitigate some impact of steep fall in revenues and an abnormal increase in newsprint prices but these efforts were not enough to maintain revenues and profits. However, Radio, Digital, and Nai Dunia performed strongly in spite of shift of festive season to Q3. Growth in advertisement revenue for Nai Dunia was 9% in Q2 and 5% in H1 which was driven by local revenues that grew by 38% and 29% respectively.

“Another positive was continued growth in local revenues for Dainik Jagran in Q2 as well even though Q2 of the previous year benefited from the festivity. Exchange fluctuation due to depreciating rupee and MTM losses due to increasing yield hurt the company further. We are cognizant of the fact that the overall economic environment is not conducive for the industry and there is a lack of visibility of growth but still H2 is expected to be better and should compensate some loss at the back of festive season and ensuing general elections. Going forward, some drop in newsprint prices is also expected which will improve the results for H2 further.

“After completing the buyback of Rs. 292 cores in July 2018, the Company has distributed dividend @ Rs. 3 per share in the first week of October in line with its policy of rewarding shareholders. I would also like to reassure that we remain committed to do our best in the interest of all the stakeholders and reward them as always and we expect your support in our endeavour as hitherto.”

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