New Delhi: HT Media Ltd, publisher of the Hindustan Times and Mint newspapers, on Friday reported a 2.3% increase in fiscal first-quarter profit on higher advertising and circulation revenue.
Consolidated net profit rose to Rs.39.3 crore in the three months ended 30 June from Rs.38.4 crore a year earlier. Revenue rose 7.5% to Rs.662.4 crore from Rs.616.1crore, the company, which also operates the Fever 104 FM radio business, said in a statement.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), an indicator of operating profitability, increased 28.3% to Rs.112.1 crore from a year ago due to an increase in other income and growth in advertising and circulation revenue, the company said. Ebitda margin widened to 16.9% from 14.2% a year ago.
Raw material costs increased by 2% to Rs.180.7 crore. Employee costs rose 8.8% from the year-ago period to Rs.148.9 crore.
Advertising revenue in the print segment increased 3.3% to Rs.483.7 crore. Circulation revenue gained 5.9% to Rs.77.2 crore.
“The first quarter of this year started on a cautious note with tepid top-line growth. Macroeconomic concerns translated into restricted spends by large advertisers and affected our English Print business more than Hindi Print, while our other businesses continued to do well,” Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media, said in a statement.
Fever 104, which operates four stations in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, saw its revenue increase 35.2% to Rs.33.2 crore, driven by new launches. Digital revenue for the firm, which operates the jobs website Shine.com, increased 25% to Rs.38.2 crore in the quarter.
“Our new radio stations, Radio Nasha 107.2 in Delhi and 91.9 in Mumbai, are now operational and receiving rave reviews, while our digital business continues to grow and reduce its losses. We remain optimistic that sentiment will improve in the second half of the year, on the back of a good monsoon and implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations. With infrastructure already in place, we are well placed to leverage our inherent strengths to realize benefits of an uptick in the economy,” Bhartia added.