By Chris Forrester
Earlier this week it was India’s Dish TV that was making headlines with its plan to raise another $200 million of capital. Today it is another Subhash Chandra-linked operation, Zee News Ltd (ZNL) that is in the news. Zee News on Oct 27 reported that it had posted a net profit of 2.24 million Rupees for the quarter ending Sept 30, on revenues of Rs 616 million.
This time last year profits were much greater at Rs 131.49, and helped by 6 regional channels that were then in ZNL’s operating portfolio. That changed when Chandra moved the 6 channels into ZEEL (Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd).
ZNL chairman Chandra said, “The company has utilised the last two quarters to consolidate its position post demerger, and is poised to expand from here. The balance sheet looks sanguinely healthy and advertising and subscription revenues have continued to grow. What is particularly heartening is that the company has managed to show robust growth at a time when most players in the industry have been facing degrowth,” which is a neat way of saying recession.
Digging down into the numbers it is clear that ZNL has done reasonably well, with ad-revenue up 16.3 per cent. ZNL CEO Barun Das added, “Our performance in the second quarter reflects all round growth. All our existing channels continued to perform, while both the newly launched news channels are on path to meet their respective breakeven targets. Our focus to offer a bouquet of channels in national and vernacular languages has reaped rich dividends, giving us an edge over competition. Advertising revenues of 16.3 per cent would possibly standout as an exception in TV News industry. Moreover, our strategy to concentrate on the middle line besides top line has ensured that the company remains in fine fettle. Usually Q2 is the slowest quarter in terms of advertising revenue. Despite that, we are pleased to post a healthy EBITDA. In this context, the buoyant figures in Q2 set the pace for an even more successful Q3.”
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