New Delhi: HT Media Ltd, publisher of the Hindustan Times and Mint newspapers, on Tuesday reported a 24.88% increase in December quarter net profit, helped by a decline in raw material costs and other expenses.
Net profit rose to Rs106.4 crore in the three months ended 31 December from Rs85.2 crore in the year-earlier period. Revenue declined marginally by 0.7% to Rs704.8 crore from Rs709.5 crore, said the company, which also operates two FM radio stations, Fever 104 and Radio Nasha.
Advertising revenue in the print segment dropped 5.7% to Rs511.4 crore. Circulation revenue rose 2.1% to Rs78.6 crore.
The fall in advertising revenue was offset by a 5.9% decline in raw material and inventory costs to Rs178.9 crore from Rs190.1 crore. Employee costs rose 1.1% to Rs144.8 crore. Other expenses fell 4.7% to Rs2,157 crore.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), a key indicator of operating profitability, rose 10.5% from a year earlier to Rs165.3 crore from Rs149.6 crore a year ago. The Ebitda margin widened to 23.5% from 21.1% a year ago.
Revenue at Fever 104, which operates four stations in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, increased 39.4% to Rs44.9 crore.
Digital revenue at HT Media, which operates the jobs website Shine.com, declined by 3% to Rs37.1crore in the three months to 31 December.
“Media spending is a forerunner of consumer, business, and investor sentiment. While the quarter started on a good note with the festival season, the subsequent short-term economic dip affected sentiment and media spends, which impacted advertising revenue for our English and Hindi print businesses,” said HT Media chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia.
“Radio continues to do well for us and we are seeing good traction for our Phase-III stations. We continue to hone our digital strategy and are aligning the organization to leverage our considerable strengths in traditional media, and our brands in the digital world.We are also constantly challenging ourselves to innovate and do things efficiently with leaner cost structures.This should bear fruits in the coming quarters and further help us deliver on our promise to create value for the shareholders,” she added.