HT Media’s total revenue stood at Rs 432 crore in Q1FY23; up 53% vs Q1FY22’s Rs 281 crore. The company’s loss in the last quarter has narrowed by 45% (YoY) to Rs 42 crore from Rs 76 crore.
The media company’s EBITDA and PAT improved in Q1FY23 with losses reduced versus the previous year despite the substantial increase in newsprint rates.
The print business of HT Media generated Rs 240 crore advertising revenue in Q1FY23 in comparison to Rs 132 crore in Q1 of FY22. Although the ad revenue is up by 82% from last year’s Q1, it is 3% down from the previous quarter when the company fetched Rs 249 crore from ads.
The company’s circulation revenue is up by 20% to Rs 60 crore from the Rs 50 crore in the same quarter of last year. In Q4FY22, the company’s revenue from circulation was Rs 56 crore.
Altogether, the operating revenue of HT Media’s print business has grown by 72% (YoY) to Rs 348 crore from Rs 203 crore. In Q4FY22, its print business garnered Rs 357 crore in operating revenue. Operating EBITDA stood at Rs 2 crore, which shows an increase of 104% from the Q1FY22 loss of Rs 49 crore.
Hindustan Times and Mint added Rs 127 crore through ads and Rs 12 crore through circulation in Q1FY23 in comparison to Rs 69 crore and Rs 7 crore in Q1FY22, respectively. On a QoQ basis, the English dailies have reported a decline of 4% in ad revenue and a 3% uptick in circulation revenue.
HT Media’s Hindi newspaper Hindustan contributed Rs 113 crore in ad revenue and Rs 48 crore from circulation versus Rs 63 crore from ads and Rs 43 crore from circulation in Q1FY22. Ad revenue is down by 3% and circulation revenue is up by 7% on a QoQ basis.
Print ad revenue improved on a YoY basis led by an uptick in volume and improvement in yields. The circulation revenue growth is led by an increase in print orders and realisation per copy for both English and Hindi editions.
When it comes to advertising on English dailies of HT Media, categories such as Real Estate, Retail, Auto, Education and FMCG grew while categories like Ecommerce remained subdued. Circulation revenue rose on the back of build back of copies and better realisation per copy.
HT Media’s radio business (Fever Nasha, Fever FM and Radio One) has added Rs 33 crore in operating revenue. From a loss of Rs 16 crore in Q1FY22, the company has reported a profit of Rs 2 crore in Q1FY23. The EBITDA stood at Rs 1 crore in the last quarter.
This is the radio business’ third consecutive quarter of operating profit.
HT Media’s digital business has reported an increase of 33% in operating revenue to Rs 39 crore in Q1FY23 versus Rs 29 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Operating revenue in the previous quarter was Rs 33 crore. Operating EBITDA has grown by 840% to Rs 1 crore from nil in Q1 of FY22. In Q4FY22, the EBITDA was Rs -2 crore.
Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media, said, “The first quarter of FY 2022-23 began on a positive note with a strong performance in the previous fiscal year, with overall business performance and the larger economic and business environment seeing considerable improvement, especially in the latter half of the fiscal. But it also began amidst indications of headwinds in terms of escalating material input costs owing to geopolitical tensions and protracted global conflicts.”
Bhartia further said, “Our print business saw significant pricing pressure as material prices continued to remain at elevated levels even as a rise in general inflation impacted the overall cost of doing business. Advertising revenue across Print and Radio and circulation revenues remained healthy. In the near team, we expect market sentiment and growth to remain a bit subdued, but are hopeful of a resurgence in the mid to long term. Despite external macro headwinds, we remain committed to our journalism and to serving all our customers and stakeholders.”