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TV18 Broadcast operating profit quadruples; margins at 16.2%

TV18 Broadcast Ltd operating profit quadrupled from a year ago for the quarter ended June 2021 driven by a concerted thrust on original content production in the entertainment segment and a resilient TV news business.

The company, which operates a 57-channel network – the broadest in India, also reported an increase in operating margin to 16.2 percent, its highest ever in the June quarter, compared to 5.7 percent a year ago.

Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) increased to Rs 188 crore for the quarter ended June 2021 compared to Rs 44 crore a year ago. The first quarter of FY21 was affected by COVID; however, a comparison with the June 2020 quarter also shows a 142 percent increase in operating profits.

The company reported consolidated revenue from operations of Rs 1,155 crore in Q1FY22, up 49 percent compared to Rs 776 crore in same quarter last fiscal year. Consolidated profits after tax jumped significantly to Rs 162 crore driven by the strong operating performance. In the year ago quarter, it was Rs 2 crore.

While domestic ad revenues were hit in the June 2021 quarter by the second wave, the company said it continued to focus on original content product. Thus, it was “able to re-scale ad-revenue to the same levels as in Q1FY20 (which was not impacted by COVID-19 in any manner),” it said in a statement.

The TV news business remained resilient led by a rise in news consumption and digital events replacing physical ones. TV viewership rose 9 percent QoQ led by lockdowns, continuation of original content telecasts.

“News genre viewership jumped 28 percent QoQ led by the second wave and multiple state and elections. The salience and resilience of our fully-pay news-network shone through,” TV18 said.

Entertainment viewership also grew 8 percent QoQ, some of which was contributed by sports. Pay-GEC viewership also grew in single digits across both Hindi and Regional as original programming continued unabated to a large extent, it added.

“Our share of TV entertainment rose further to around 11 percent in Q1FY22, up sharply from a low of around 9.2 percent in Q1FY21,” TV18 said.​

Subscription revenues grew 4 percent year-on-year.

“Domestic subscription revenue continued to grow led by expanded tie-ups in TV and Digital (both B2B and B2C), and international subscription remains under stress,” said TV18 Broadcast.

The company also continued to maintain a tight rein on costs.

“Consistent controls on costs across business lines led a reduction in group operating expenses, despite cost-pushes in content and distribution. Even compared with Q1FY20, operating expenses fell 14 percent YoY,” the company said.

The tight cost control along with the increase in revenues helped improve margins. The entertainment business margin was healthy at around 17 percent, and news margin at 15 percent.

“We continue to invest to ramp up offerings on our class-leading digital platforms. At the same time, we are selectively creating segmented offerings to enhance our TV portfolio in a capital-efficient manner,” said Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of TV18 in a statement. Money Control

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