Newspaper publisher HT Media reported 7.5 per cent growth in revenue for Q1FY17 (quarter ended June 30) at Rs 662.4 crore compared to Rs 616.1 crore. The company’s advertising revenue grew 3.3 per cent y-o-y to Rs 483.7 crore from Rs 468.3 crore in the same period last year. Circulation revenues were up 5.9 per cent from Rs 72.9 crore in Q1FY16 to Rs 77.2 crore.
EBITDA was up 28.3 per cent at Rs 112.1 crore (Q1FY16 EBITDA was Rs 87.3 crore) while EBITDA margins at 16.9 per cent as against 14.2 per cent last year. PAT for the year stood at Rs 39.3 crore, up 2.1 per cent from last year’s 38.4 crore.
The digital business saw increase in revenues to the tune of 25 per cent while radio saw an increase of 35.2 per cent. However, the radio business saw flattish EBITDA at Rs 9.5 crore with margins at 25.6 per cent vs. 35.9 per cent during same period last year. Dilution is margins attributed to new radio station launch related expenses and impact of higher license fee costs.
“The first quarter of this year started on a cautious note with tepid top line growth. Macroeconomic concerns translated into restricted spends by large advertisers and affected our English Print business more than Hindi Print, while our other businesses continued to do well,” said Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media.
She added: “Our new radio stations, Radio Nasha 107.2 in Delhi and 91.9 in Mumbai are now operational and receiving rave reviews, while our digital business continues to grow and reduce its losses. We remain optimistic that sentiment will improve in the second half of the year, on the back of a good monsoon and implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations. With infrastructure already in place, we are well placed to leverage our inherent strengths to realize benefits of an uptick in the economy.”