Dish TV India Limited (Dish TV) on Thursday reported Q3 fiscal 2015 standalone subscription and total operating revenues at Rs 655.4 crore, up 17.4 per cent and Rs 713.9 crore, up 16.5 per cent YOY, respectively. EBITDA for the quarter stood at Rs 191.2 crore compared with Rs 135.5 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal. The net loss for the quarter reduced to Rs 2.9 crore.
The Board of Directors in its meeting held on Thursday, approved and took on record the unaudited standalone results of Dish TV for the quarter ending December 31, 2014.
“The world economy continues to keep policy makers around the globe busy. India helped by its monetary policy stance, a stable government at the Centre and unwinding of commodities super-cycle is favourably placed to outrun other emerging markets. An imminent pick-up in investment and demand is expected to be favourable both for Dish TV as well as the DTH industry,” said Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Dish TV India Limited.
He added, “Dish TV recorded marked improvements in its key financials, while maintaining market supremacy during Q3 of fiscal 2015. Overall, the DTH industry, led by Dish TV, recorded a healthy 29 per cent YOY growth in gross additions compared with the corresponding quarter last fiscal.”
Highlighting Dish TV’s Q3 performance, the company’s MD Jawahar Goel, said, “We continued to strengthen our reach in Phase 3 and 4 towns much ahead of the government mandated revised deadline for digitisation in those markets. Our bouquet of offerings, including fully-loaded sports packs and High Definition (HD) packages, helped us fill in the expectation gap in Phase 1 and 2 households. The recently launched ‘Zing’ has been a successful product and caters to eight regional markets, with Tamil Nadu being the latest.”
The DTH industry, finally, seems to be getting a level ground with broadcasters’ efforts towards improving declaration from the cable industry. The implementation of the Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) deals may mark the beginning of a significant upward trend in the industry ARPUs (average revenue per user).
Anticipating a brighter 2015, Goel said, “Though we have been doing everything possible to boost ARPUs, the scope of results has been limited due to sticky cable prices. As MSOs shell out more for content and increase tax compliance, cable packaging may become a reality in 2015, thus bringing the ARPU to respectable levels, while creating headroom for ARPU expansion in DTH.”
The DTH industry entered 2015 with the same uncertainty around taxes that has been haunting it since its inception. “Though the Union budget 2014 was a dampener, we are keeping our fingers crossed with respect to the 2015 budget. All industry stakeholders, including Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), News Broadcasters’ Association (NBA), Multi System Operators (MSO) and DTH operators made a joint representation to the Finance Ministry regarding anomalies in the industry’s tax structure. The representation was received well and we look forward to hearing the outcome during the budget this year,” said Goel.
In view of the Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, Dish TV has been exploring possibilities for domestic manufacturing of Set Top Boxes (STB). “We are closely watching the turn of events and would take a decision based on the tax regime for local manufacturing that might be modified by the government in the days ahead. Our proposed subsidiary Dish Infra Services (Private) Limited will be instrumental in deriving efficiencies from hardware operations,” Goel said.
Dish TV recorded a quantum jump in its performance during Q3 compared with the corresponding period last fiscal. “Our subscription revenues grew 17.4 per cent on a YOY basis, while EBITDA margin expanded 270 basis points to reach 26.8 per cent during the quarter. The net loss for the quarter reduced to Rs 2.9 crore, while churn was maintained at a comfortable 0.7 per cent per month,” said Goel.