New Delhi: Business news broadcaster Television Eighteen India Ltd said fourth quarter net profit fell 37.5% to Rs12.5 crore, from the year-ago period, on continued investments in Web and newswires businesses.
Consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 31 March grew 64% to Rs132 crore with the firm’s three business divisions showing top-line growth. While business news and Web18 grew 53% and 112% year-on-year respectively, Newswire18, the firm’s wire service and news terminal business, grew 26% quarter on quarter. However, only the business news division turned in a profit.
“The Web business and the newswire business are still in the investment phase and the investments we are making to expand them are being expensed off. In the Web business, big new properties are being launched while we have made investments in expanding the newswire business on the retail front. Core operations are stable and doing well,” said Haresh Chawla, CEO, Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, of which, TV18 is a subsidiary.
TV18 has also ventured into the print media business. In December, it acquired controlling stake in Infomedia India Ltd, a firm with interests in business directories, magazine publishing, printing services and publishing outsourcing. It has an equal stakes joint venture with Jagran Prakashan Ltd to publish business dailies in regional languages. Its strategic partnership with Forbes Media Llc. will see the launch of an Indian edition of the financial magazine by the end of this fiscal, TV18 said.
“We have forged a JV with Jagran Prakashan to launch a Hindi business newspaper and are also preparing to enter the English business newspaper market,” said Raghav Bahl, the firm’s managing director.
Mint first reported on 10 March about Network 18’s plans to tie up with Pearson Plc, the London-basedpublisher of the Financial Times, to launch a business daily in India.
“The results are pretty much in line with expectations. Going forward, what will be keenly watched is how they are able to turn around their loss-making businesses such as Web18, infomedia and Newswire18, said a media analyst with a Mumbai-based brokerage, who did not want to be identified as he isn’t allowed to speak to the media.
TV18 runs news channels CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz as well as several Web properties such as Moneycontrol.com.
On Monday, TV18 shares closed at Rs344.35, up 2.78% from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.