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Advertising by most categories grew in double-digits in Q3 at DB Corp: Girish Agarwal

Agarwal, Non-Executive Director of DB Corp, said that the late festive season and state elections played an important role in Q3 ad revenue growth of 18.4% to Rs 482 crore

Girish Agarwal

During the Q3 FY24 earnings call, Girish Agarwal, Promoter-Director of DB Corp, said that Q3 witnessed increased ad spends by auto, real estate, jewellery, government, health, BFSI, FMCG brands.

He said, “In Q3, most of the advertising categories have grown in double digit. Automobile has grown by almost 47%, real estate by almost 20%, jewellery by 26% and FMCG by 25%. Government advertising had 36% growth because of the state elections. Hospitals and health care sector has grown by 20%. Banking and finance and IPOs and all also have gone up by almost 16%.”

One big factor for increase in ad spends in Q3 is the late festive season, added Agarwal.

Having said that, Agarwal further shared, segments like classified obituary, education and hypermarket reduced ad spends by 4%, 10% and 25%, respectively.

DB Corp’s consolidated ad revenue grew by 18.4% (YoY) to Rs 482 crore from Rs 407 crore in Q3FY24.

Agarwal then went on to share the contribution of main categories in DB Corp’s overall Q3 ad revenue. He said, “The government contributes to around 20%. The response category contributes 10 - 12%. Education is at the lower side because of the non-season and adds 5%. The automobile has come up to almost 10%, real estate is in the range of again 8 - 10%. And FMCG is close to 5%.”

Agarwal added, “Dainik Bhaskar's powerful brand equity is reflected in the impressive portfolio of advertisers that continue to enforce their trust and increase advertising spend every quarter.”

With regards to ad rates, DB Corp has been able to cross pre-Covid levels in some categories of brands, whereas in others it remains the same, said Agarwal.

“We have tried to increase ad rates in the categories which are doing really well. Some categories like automobiles had a difficult last quarter.  Hence, we have not ventured out much on the automobile side right now in terms of rate. But in other categories, things are moving in the right direction,” he added.

The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will further act as a buoyant force to keep up the advertising momentum at DB Corp, said Agarwal.

A decrease of 18.3% in the newsprint cost contributed to EBIDTA growth of 101.7% (YoY) to Rs 203 crore from Rs 101 crore at DB Corp.

“Last year, in the same quarter, we had a newsprint price of roughly around Rs 61,000 per ton, in this year Q3, it came down to almost Rs 50,000 per ton. If I see the Q2, we were at some Rs 51,500 and this Q3, we are at Rs 50,000,” Agarwal said.

He mentioned that going forward, it looks like there is a strong possibility of this going down by another 2% - 3%.

“However, I am recently told that there is an overseas freight issue happening because of the Red Sea and if that doesn't create any problem, then this price should further go down by 2% - 3%,” Agarwal added.

Its Q3FY24 circulation revenue was up 3.4% (YoY) to Rs 120 crore versus Rs 116 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

DB Corp reported revenue growth of 15.5% (YoY) to Rs 664.8 crore for the third quarter that ended December 31, 2023. Its Q3FY23 revenue was Rs 576 crore.

Its PAT recorded a growth of 156.8% YoY to Rs 124 crore from Rs 48 crore in Q3 of the last financial year.

Overall, the trust factor in newspapers has gone up and we all are seeing that because of the multiple events happening around, the whole concept of going back to newspapers for the credentials and for the content and knowledge is going up,” Agarwal concluded.

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