New Delhi: HT Media Ltd (HTML), publisher of the Hindustan Times and Mint newspapers, on Friday reported a marginal drop in net profit for the year to 31 March on a decline in advertising revenue and higher amortization and interest costs for new radio stations.
Net profit in the year declined 1.84% to Rs170.3 crore from Rs173.5 crore in the previous year, the company said in a statement. Annual revenue rose 0.9% to Rs2,681.6 crore from Rs2,657.7 crore.
“Last financial year was a mixed one for print media. It began slowly, held forth the promise of better things to come during the festive season, but then lapsed into a short-term economic slowdown,” HTML chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia said in a statement. “The result was a decline in advertising across categories and regions. Both our English and Hindi business were hit, although we were cushioned to some extent by a wide-ranging cost restructuring exercise that we embarked upon early in the year. The full benefits of this exercise will accrue over this financial year.”
Advertising revenue declined by 3.5% to Rs1,913.1 crore from Rs1,982.5 crore, primarily due to lower print ad revenue. The company, which also operates two FM radio stations named Fever 104 and Nasha, said circulation revenue rose by 1.6% to Rs304.2 crore from Rs299.4 crore. The company reported a 23.6% increase in other revenue due to higher income accruing from investments.
For the quarter ended 31 March, net profit declined by 40.84% to Rs25.5 crore from Rs43.1 crore. Revenue in the quarter declined by 7.5% to Rs634.1 crore from Rs685.4 crore. Advertising and circulation revenue fell 9% and 3.8%, respectively.
“Our new businesses continue to do well. Our new radio stations are up, and generating revenue, and the entire radio business has grown operating profits,” Bhartia said. “Our digital businesses continue to grow.This year has started on a good note and we are beginning to see early signs of a recovery. Given our portfolio and efficient cost structures, we believe we are well poised to take advantage of this across both traditional and new media. Our emphasis on product quality, cost management, and excellence in execution will ensure that we create maximum value for all stakeholders,” she added.
HTML’s revenue from the radio business grew by 35.7% to Rs158.7 crore in the full year to 31 March, driven by new radio station launches. Revenue from the company’s digital business, including desimartini.com, shine.com and Digital Quotient, rose 8% in the year.