Yet another media company bucking the slowdown trend is UTV Software Communications Ltd. UTV has reported a 29 per cent jump in its Q3 net profit to Rs 29.9 crore as against Rs 23.1 crore in the corresponding quarter of FY08. The total operating revenues for the period also rose 30 per cent to Rs 16.02 crore from Rs 12.35 crore.
However, broadcasting suffered a loss of Rs 11.3 crore in the third quarter and Rs 20 crore till date. In a prepared statement, Ronnie Screwvala, Founder & Chairman, UTV Group, admitted, “Without that loss, our consolidated operating margins would have been substantially higher. Q4 of this fiscal, plus FY09-10 will continue to be in the red, with a clear objective to see breakeven during Q1 of 2010-11.”
Screwvala further said, “While the third quarter shows a growth of 30 per cent, the nine months cumulatively show a growth of 86 per cent on our revenues and these clearly would not have been achieved if we had not invested heavily into the businesses that demonstrate high growth for the company. Correspondingly, all of this financial year and into at least six months of the next year, we continue to remain in ‘investment mode’.”
Commenting on the performance of the games content segment, gaming Screwvala said, “We are extremely pleased with out progress so far. Despite the macro environment, India Games has grown around 20 per cent quarter on quarter and has witnessed most of its growth and has witnessed most of its growth from its India operations as it is one of the fastest growing markets for mobile gaming. Ignition continues to focus on its three IPs, and we are making good progress for their release plans which I believe, would be the next big quantum jump for UTV.”
UTV has invested Rs 4.1 billion in motion pictures, which would provide visibility or UTV’s movie slate for the next two years. A substantial investment has been made on the Hollywood slate, which is expected to show results during the quarters to come. UTV Motion Pictures release two movies in the third quarter – ‘Fashion’ and ‘Oye Lucky’.
Speaking on the new media segment, Screwvala said, “We have aggregated a strong library in the digital space in regional languages. For a business that has been in operation for just a few months, we are pleased that it has reported revenues of approximately Rs 14.3 crore for the nine-month period in such a start-up mode. We expect this business will be in the black during the next fiscal.”
UTV: Going strong with Disruptive Thinking in 2009 – Ronnie Screwvala