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Dish TV reports 7.6% growth in revenues in Q4 FY13

The company has retained market leadership through FY13; first full year of positive free cash flow

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 24, 2013

Dish TV India has reported fourth quarter fiscal 2013 audited standalone operating revenues of Rs 5,554 million, recording 7.6 per cent growth over the corresponding period last fiscal. The EBITDA at Rs 1,200 million registered a 6.5 per cent increase over the corresponding quarter last fiscal. EBITDA margin for the quarter stood at 21.6 per cent. Net loss was down to Rs 436 million against Rs 490 million in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

The company also reported audited results for the financial year ended on March 31, 2013. The full year fiscal 2013 standalone revenues stood at Rs 21,668 million, with an EBITDA of Rs 5,759 million and EBITDA margin of 26.7 per cent. The net loss for the year was down to Rs 657 million against Rs 1,588 million in fiscal 2012.

Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Dish TV India, said, “Global economies continue to be blanketed by an uncertain economic environment. Corporates and consumers alike remain cautious and in a watchful mode. Here in India, early indicators of an easing inflation and a few supportive macro factors point to a stronger consumer sentiment going forward.”

“In the media sector, digitisation, though not fully upto speed, holds big potential for the industry. DTH platforms, in particular, look forward to a level playing field contributing to meaningfully higher ARPUs and stickier subscriber base over time. Dish TV’s industry leading initiative, to hike acquisition and pack price, is likely to be a catalyst to achieve that,” Chandra added.

Jawahar Goel, Managing Director, Dish TV, said, “Fiscal 2013 saw most players in the Indian DTH industry evolve to the next level. Under Dish TV’s leadership, the industry pulled off a significant increase in the acquisition price over the last several months thereby reducing the effective cash burn per subscriber. While the resultant decline in industry gross additions is marginal, it is expected to be well compensated by quality of subscribers. There was no respite though from the multiple taxation which the DTH industry is reeling under. Uncertainty on the rollout of Goods & Services Tax (GST) continues to be an overhang on the earnings potential of the industry.”

“In the absence of an enforceable contract for set-top box recovery, Dish TV looks forward to move to a virtually nil subsidy model over the medium term. With a strong service backup and an increasing focus on value growth rather than headline subscriber numbers, DTH is well-positioned to develop as a premium offering compared to cable,” Goel added.

“On the digitisation front, the readiness of MSOs on encryption, packaging, dunning and effective business processes is taking undue time. With increasing expectations, customers however will gradually align to a technologically progressive and service oriented mass-scale platform, albeit at a premium. Dish TV has experienced strong though early signals of churned subscribers getting back to its platform in select markets in the current quarter,” said Goel.

Commenting on the business performance, Goel said, “Dish TV’s ARPU for the quarter was Rs 157 compared to Rs 160 in the immediately preceding quarter. However, on a like-to-like basis, ARPU for the quarter would have been Rs 160 considering that revenue is recognised over a 90-day period in the fourth quarter compared to 92 days in the third quarter. Higher entry level price drove the SAC down to Rs 1,996 from Rs 2,201 in the preceding quarter. A renewed focus on quality additions coupled with higher win backs reduced average churn for the quarter to 0.8 per cent per month compared to 1 per cent before that. On the expenses front, a 5.1 per cent YoY increase in content cost for the fiscal remained well within the guided range of 10-12 per cent hike. Marketing and other related expenses were within budget and lower in the fourth quarter due to previous quarter investments to capitalize on the digitization opportunity.”

Dish TV added five new HD channels with effect from April 2013. With this addition, Dish TV offers the highest number of 25 HD channels and 17 HD services on its platform.

Dish TV recently launched India’s first Standard Definition Recorder, ‘Dish+’, with unlimited recording facility. ‘Dish+’ comes equipped with a USB slot and is positioned at a competitive price compared to non-recorder ready boxes. ‘Dish+’ was initially launched in the 42 cities covered under Phase I and Phase II of digitisation and is now available across India as a value for money differentiator over other boxes in the market.

In a first within the television distribution industry, Dish TV has launched recharge option through Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) through which the subscriber can recharge his Dish TV account securely and conveniently through an instant, interbank electronic fund transfer service that can be initiated only through mobile phones. Considering the deep penetration of cell phones in the country, money transfer through them is likely to emerge as a popular mode of transacting for daily services in the days ahead.

Dish TV continues to be the largest DTH company in India and the whole of Asia Pacific and is one of the largest DTH platforms in the world.

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