Deccan Chronicle is looking to consolidate its position in South India, and may look at the acquisition route to establish a presence in the Karnataka market. The publication claims to have garnered a circulation figure of 255,000 copies in Chennai on weekdays and 290,000 on Sundays. Of these, only 23,000 copies are through the ICICI cardholders’ subscription tie-up.
While on acquisition plans, a company spokesperson, however, refuted reports that Deccan Chronicle was in talks to take over Deccan Herald.
Speaking to exchange4media, P K Iyer, Executive Director, Deccan Chronicle Holdings, said, “Reports on the takeover of Deccan Herald are false. We have only said that we will look at all options for growth – organic and inorganic. Yes, we are looking at takeovers, which will add synergy to the current portfolio. One gap that we have in the portfolio now is the Karnataka market.”
He added that with a strong presence in Hyderabad and a successful launch in Chennai, Bangalore would be the next market where Deccan Chronicle would try to establish its presence.
For the Chennai edition, the projected revenue has risen now, from the projected Rs 50-60 crore to Rs 60-70 crore by the end of this fiscal. “We are on track to achieve that figure,” affirmed Iyer.
While the manpower at Chennai has not been ‘dramatically increased’, the company’s ED admitted to a small ramp up on the marketing and circulation fronts since its launch. The publication is looking at launching its Tiruchi edition in November, and a rollout in Coimbatore thereafter.
In the Bangalore English daily market, the current leader is The Times of India, followed by Deccan Herald. Vijay Times, Hindu, The New Indian Express and The Asian Age (in which Deccan Chronicle Holdings recently increased its holding to 90 per cent).
Deccan Chronicle Holdings’ Board of Directors is meeting on September 5 to consider various ‘organic and inorganic growth proposals’ and also to finalise the FCCB/GDR options.