New Delhi: HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Hindustan Times and Mint newspapers, said fiscal second-quarter profit almost stayed flat as higher expenses offset an increase in revenue.
Net profit fell to Rs51.2 crore in the three months ended 30 September from Rs 51.6 crore a year earlier, HT Media said in a statement on Wednesday. Revenue rose 5.2% to Rs680.2 crore from Rs646.8 crore.
HT Media also runs the FM radio network Fever 104.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda)—an indicator of operating profitability—in the quarter rose 15.1% to Rs128.5 crore from Rs111.6 crore in the year-ago period.
Advertising revenue declined 2% to Rs466 crore. Circulation revenue increased 2.4% to Rs75.6 crore.
Fever 104’s revenue increased 23.1% to Rs36.1 crore. Revenue from the digital business rose 10% to Rs37.3 crore from Rs33.9 crore a year earlier.
Those gains were offset by higher costs, including expenses to set up new radio stations.
Employee costs for the quarter rose 7.1% to Rs152.8 crore.
“Our revenue growth in the quarter was flat, reflecting overall weakness in print media, especially English language publications. The high base effect of 2015’s Bihar elections on the Hindi business further depressed revenue growth. We are looking forward to a better second half, powered by the festive season, a good monsoon, implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations, and the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh,” HT Media’s chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia said in the statement.
“Our radio business continues to outperform; we have completed the roll-out of our Phase III stations, which have all gotten off to a good start. Our digital businesses continue to grow and reduce losses,” she added.