HT Media Ltd reported an 85.4% year-on-year increase in its first quarter net profit to Rs41.55 crore on the back of lower costs.

Revenue dipped marginally from Rs662.43 crore in the first quarter of 2016-17 to Rs652.18 crore, the company, which publishes Mint and Hindustan Times and also operates the Fever 104 and Nasha radio stations, said in a statement.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), an indicator of operating profit, increased 18.7% to Rs133 crore from a year ago.

Ebitda margin widened to 20.4% from 16.9% a year ago.

The increase in profit came even as advertising revenue declined 2.2% to Rs473 crore and circulation revenue declined 7.7% to Rs71 crore.

Total expenses, including raw material and finance costs, fell to Rs570.52 crore in the quarter from Rs604.54 crore a year ago.

“The year has started on a cautious note. While April was promising, macroeconomic concerns and uncertainties around GST adversely affected advertising spends in the latter part of the quarter. The English print business was hit harder than the Hindi print one. But our new businesses continue to do well," said Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media, in a statement.

Fever 104, which operates radio stations in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, saw its revenue increase 30% to Rs43 crore. Overall digital revenue for the firm, which operates the jobs website, increased 10% to Rs40 crore in the quarter.

“We remain optimistic that sentiment and business will both improve in the second half of the year, on the back of lower inflation and an expected cut in the policy rate by RBI (Reserve Bank of India). The stabilisation of GST will also help. We expect the core business to start showing growth and the new businesses to continue to profitably scale up," Bhartia added.