New Delhi: Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd (HMVL), publisher of the Hindi daily Hindustan, reported a 38% increase in net profit for the quarter ended December, on the back of increased advertising revenues and higher circulation.

Net profit rose to 28.8 crore from 20.8 crore a year earlier, the company said on Thursday. Revenue increased 18% to 99 crore from 68.5 crore. HMVL is a unit of HT Media Ltd which publishes Mint and Hindustan Times.

Advertising revenue for the paper rose 16% to 137.5 crore from 118.2 crore. Circulation revenue rose 18% to 45.9 crore in the quarter from 39 crore a year earlier.

Commenting on the results, HMVL chairperson, Shobhana Bhartia said, “Our pricing initiatives and improved traction in advertising revenues across markets have resulted in the highest ever top-line in any quarter."

The recently published readership survey commissioned by the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and the Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI), and carried out by research firm Nielsen saw Hindustan become the second largest daily with a readership of 14.25 million, overtaking the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, published by DB Corp. Ltd. The field work for the survey was conducted between July and December 2013.

“The latest IRS results have been quite encouraging, with Hindustan emerging as the second largest daily in the country. We are now a clear No.2 in Uttar Pradesh and No.1 in Uttarakhand, while maintaining our dominance in Bihar and Jharkhand," Bhartia added.

“The results are pretty much in line with the industry growth rate," said an analyst who did not wish to be identified. DB Corp. saw an increase in advertising revenue of 12% in the quarter ended December, while Jagran Prakashan Ltd which publishes Dainik Jagran, saw an increase in advertising revenue of 15% in the same period.

“If one looks at advertising revenue, the national advertisers have been facing the brunt of the slowdown; regional newspapers are better positioned to get business from local advertisers who are still relatively buoyant", he added.

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