Tata Infomedia, India’s largest commercial printing company, is planning to register its magazine titles with the Registrar of Newspapers which were earlier turned down on grounds that it held foreign institutional investors (FIIs) as shareholders.
The decision follows the Centre’s announcement last week allowing foreign direct investment into the print media.
According to sources, the company will register two of its titles — Auto Monitor and AV Max with the Registrar of Newspapers. Tata Infomedia’s special interest publications division publishes several magazines — Better Photography, Overdrive, AV Max, Auto Monitor and Search.
Of these, Auto Monitor and AV Max was denied registration by the government because of the 6 per cent holding by FIIs in the company. Auto Monitor, a fortnightly magazine targetted at the automobile trade and industry was launched in January 2001. AV Max, is a music and video magazine.
The FIIs acquired the shares through the open market much before the RBI notification dated February 16, 2001, and the company was unjustly sought to be covered by the then print media policy. This restricted the growth of the company and thus was not able to register titles/launch new magazines in the market.
But, now with the new print media policy, the company has plans to launch magazines in the business to consumer and business to business segments. According to the company, all the magazines are market leaders in their respective segments.
However, the cut in advertising budgets has impacted the revenues and profitability of the division in 2001-02. The company reported a total income of Rs 126.81 crore in 2001-02 as compared with Rs 119.67 crore in 2000-01. Net profit stood at Rs 11.61 crore in 2001-02 as compared to Rs 11.43 crore in 2000-01.