Network18 Media & Investments Limited and TV18 Broadcast Limited announced the results for the second quarter of the financial year 2017-18 that ended September 30, 2017.
Network18 posted consolidated revenues of Rs 866 crore (including proportionate share of JVs) in Q2FY18, a 2% YoY growth, as growth in its broadcasting business was partially offset by a decline in revenues in the TV shopping business. However, a reduction in costs across both these verticals resulted in substantially lower losses. The company posted a loss of Rs 68 crore in this quarter against a loss of Rs 69 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
The company’s listed subsidiary TV18 posted consolidated revenues of Rs 684 crore (including proportionate share of JVs) in Q2FY18, a 4% YoY growth. Despite industry headwinds, profitability continued to improve led by strong performance of niches, scale-up of new initiatives and cost-control. TV18’s net profit grew to Rs 7 crore from last year’s net profit of Rs 3 crore.
While the entertainment business of TV18 registered revenue growth even in an adverse environment, its National News revenue growth was constrained by softness in ad-spends due to macro-pressures. Regional news continued to witness weak revenues as a result of lower government and election-related advertising versus last year, dragging the bottomline.
The company highlighted that the deferment of ad-spends which started in mid-June continued to hurt till mid-September. “Since then, green shoots have been visible and the growth trajectory is recovering, driven by the festive season. We believe that bottlenecks in GST implementation shall ease in due course; and the GST regime shall push the formal economy in the long run, boosting ad-spends,” said Network18.
Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18 and TV18, said, “With the various digital ventures in Network18’s fold, we are well positioned as the digital ecosystem grows. We are taking active steps to position each digital property so that it can expand and be successful.”
“We are now the largest broadcast news company, and reach 26 states across India in 16+ languages. We continue to invest into regional platforms across both news and entertainment. Our brands have high mind-share, and audiences have appreciated our bouquet and rewarded us through consistently strong ratings. Our niche channels have also performed really well in the past quarter,” added Zainulbhai.
TV18 standalone (National news) revenues stayed near-flat, led by a tepid ad-environment. However, profitability improved substantially, led by active management of operating costs which more than offset higher employee costs. Business and General News segment of the company posted total revenue of Rs 158 crore compared to Rs 160 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year. However, the segment’s net profit improved to Rs 28 crore from last year’s Rs 18 crore.
Regional News continued to witness softness in earnings, partially offsetting the positives of National News. The Regional News (excluding IBN-Lokmat) and Infotainment business posted a total revenue of Rs 69 crore in Q2FY18 against Rs 80 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year. The segment posted a net loss of Rs 41 crore compared to Rs 38 crore in Q2FY17.
TV18 JVs (largely Viacom18) showed 9% YoY revenue growth despite the macro-weakness, driven by the strength of the bouquet and movies released during the quarter. Profitability also improved, further helped by a scale-up in some of the new initiatives launched in Q1FY17.
50 per cent each of Viacom18, IBN Lokmat and Indiacast garnered a total revenue of Rs 457 crore in Q2’18, up from Rs 419 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year. The net profit from JVs grew to Rs 26 crore from previous year’s Rs 17 crore.