Mumbai: Media company TV18 Broadcast Ltd reported a net profit of 10.1 crore in the quarter ended 30 September on the back of successful films and higher subscription revenues for its television channels. In the same quarter a year ago, it had posted a loss of 40.6 crore.

The company operates entertainment as well as news channels such as Colors, CNBC-TV18 and CNN-IBN, and has interests in motion picture businesses.

Total operating revenue for the fiscal second quarter increased to 483.2 crore from 365.1 crore a year ago, TV18 said in a statement on Monday. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization—an indicator of operating profitability—rose 178% to 39.6 crore.

“Even though the macroeconomic environment continued to be uncertain, the media and entertainment industry is well poised to deliver robust growth," said Raghav Bahl, managing director of Network18, the parent group.

“During the current quarter, we turned in robust operating profits for both our broadcasting and motion pictures businesses," said B. Saikumar, group chief executive officer.

Advertising revenue for the firm’s TV channels grew 4% to 254.5 crore from 245.5 crore, while subscription revenue rose to 39.7 crore from 3.1 crore a year ago. Television distribution revenue nearly doubled to 182.5 crore from 95 crore earlier. Motion Pictures and TIFC (Indian Film Co. Ltd) revenues surged to 62 crore from 22.1 crore. Among successful films for the company during the quarter were Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Madras Cafe.

“We embarked on an operational restructuring programme to realize synergies across the news network, which will be instrumental in creating sustained value. Our entertainment business turned in an excellent quarter and IndiaCast (a 50:50 joint venture between TV18 and Viacom18) continued on its growth trajectory," Saikumar said.

He, however, added that “the advertising environment continues to be lackadaisical especially for news and other niche genres, but we remain confident of delivering a strong year ahead".

The firm’s general news operations reported an operating loss of 8.2 crore for the September quarter, while the television entertainment segment reported an 80% increase in operating profit to 49.9 crore on the back of strong advertising and distribution revenues.

“When it comes to the news channels, the advertisers coming on board are far more sensitive to economic conditions, resulting in some pullback in advertising. Not to mention the fact that general news is a challenging space to be in, as there are few things that will differentiate you from the competition," said an analyst who declined to be identified.

“The entertainment channels on the other hand, such as Colors, which attract advertising from other sectors such as consumer products and durables, among others, are not impacted as much," he said. Growth was offset also by an increase in other expenses to 443.6 crore from 350.9 crore a year ago because of higher spending on production and IndiaCast.

TV18 Broadcast shares fell 3.27% to 22.20 each on BSE on Monday, on a day the benchmark Sensex fell 0.55% to 20,570.28 points.

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