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Network18 narrows loss, TV18 net profit up in FY18

Network18’s total income rose about 26% while TV18’s revenue grew by 41%

Media firm Network18 Media and Investments has reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 45.63 crore and a total income of Rs 844.56 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2018.

The media and entertainment firm had registered a net loss of Rs 23.59 crore and a total income of Rs 434.50 crore in the January-March quarter of 2016-17.

The company said its full-year total income rose about 26%, boosted by a strong performance of the company's regional channels. The total income rose to Rs 1,952 crore for the year ending March 2018, compared to Rs 1,546 crore for FY 2017.

For the entire fiscal ending March 2018, Network18 Media reported a consolidated loss of Rs 174.48 crore. It had reported a loss of Rs 270.79 crore in the previous fiscal.

The company said that the revenue growth was driven by a broad-based recovery in advertisement spending, as well as a favourable base. “With the economy on a revival trend and temporary impact of GST implementation behind us, our broadcast portfolio benefitted from the improved advertising environment,” it said.

Network18’s digital revenues from prime properties MoneyControl, News18 and Firstpost have grown 34% YoY to Rs 45 crore in Q4.

Network18 subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 1.07 crore and total income of Rs 765.12 crore for the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2017-18.

The television arm of Network18 had registered a net profit of Rs 6 crore and a total income of Rs 297.63 crore in the January-March quarter of the previous financial year.

For the entire fiscal, 2017-18, TV18 Broadcast reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 7.85 crore. It had reported a net profit of Rs 6.40 crore in the previous fiscal.

Its total income from operation during the financial year stood at Rs 1,504.18 crore. It was Rs 1,022.74 crore in the financial year 2016-17.

On a comparable basis, TV18’s revenue grew by 41%.

“Business News maintained its healthy growth while General News benefitted from strong performance of Hindi News channel News18 India, as both rankings and revenue rose, in a fast-growing genre. Regional News continued to increase its viewership but witness tepid revenues due to lack of government spends. Our entertainment portfolio demonstrated robust growth even as high-impact advertising recovers with a lag. General entertainment (both Hindi and English) and kids were strong performers,” the company said in its filing.

Sudhanshu Vats

Speaking on the performance of entertainment channels, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, told CNBC-TV18, “In a year that has just ended, where Colors has had a slightly more muted year, we have managed to deliver ad sales growth in mid-teens as well as a company and that is because of the portfolio which has been in play.”

Optimistic about ad sales growth in FY19, Vats said, “It is already beginning to show and we are seeing the impact, if you look at recent months in regional for sure, so that is where FMCG comes into play, some autos come into play. So we are seeing regional for sure, we are also seeing considerable amount of growth in free-to-air channels as well. So the rural piece and overall consumption piece is looking strong.”

In a regulatory filing, Network18 said that consequent to Viacom18 and IndiaCast becoming subsidiary and Homeshop18 and HSN Plc ceasing to be subsidiary during the quarter, the figures for the current quarter/year are not comparable with those of the earlier quarters/year.

On February 28, 2008, TV18 Broadcast increased its equity interest in Viacom18 Media from 50% to 51% by acquiring 1% of the equity shares held by MTV Asia Ventures (India), Mauritius, for Rs 129.75 crore in cash and consequently obtained operational control over Viacom18.

Accordingly, the company has consolidated Viacom18 as subsidiary from March 1, 2018.

"Consequent to this acquisition, IndiaCast Media Distribution which was hitherto a joint venture of the company, was accounted as subsidiary with effect from March 1, 2018," it added.

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