Rise in circulation helps HT Media swing to profit

Rise in circulation helps HT Media swing to profit

New Delhi: The publisher of the ‘Hindustan Times’, ‘Mint’ and the Hindi-language ‘Hindustan’ newspapers, HT Media Ltd, swung to a profit on a consolidated basis in the three months ended December from a year-ago loss as it benefited from increased circulation and advertising revenue and lower newsprint costs.

Net income rose to Rs35.8 crore in the quarter, from a loss of Rs12.8 crore in the year-ago period, HT Media said in a statement on Monday. Consolidated revenue rose 6% to Rs366.1 crore from Rs345.7 crore a year ago.

HT Media said a 30% increase in circulation revenue to Rs50.8 crore, a 3% rise in advertising revenue to Rs285.5 crore, reduction in the losses of its Internet and radio operations and lower newsprint prices boosted revenue and profit.

“The overall result has been good and in line with expectations," said Rohit Maheshwari, a research associate at local brokerage firm KR Choksey Shares and Securities Pvt. Ltd, adding that the improved ad revenue had helped boost the company’s results.

The publisher’s total expenditure fell 10% in the three months to Rs291.7 crore from Rs323.9 crore in the year-earlier period.

The company’s Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin, a key measure of operating profitability, expanded to 21% from 8%.

“Over the last year, despite economic constraints, we have taken several initiatives to expand our presence, make our offerings more contemporary, augment our infrastructure as well as streamline our operations," said Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media.

“All these have enabled us to considerably strengthen our business and our value proposition," she added.

HT Media shares rose Rs5.35, or 3.32%, to Rs166.35 on a day that the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex gained 86.78 points, or 0.5%, to 17,641.08 points.