Advertising revenue of Zee News Ltd for the third quarter (October-December 2011) this year dipped by 4.2 per cent to Rs 518.8 million, from Rs 541.7 million last year. However, operational performance of the company remained strong as EBITDA stood at Rs 192.7 million for the quarter, up by 43.2 per cent, while net profit stood at Rs 162.4 million, registering a growth of 56.8 per cent.
“Due to overall slowdown as well as the effect of festival season overlapping with previous quarter, the advertising revenues have de-grown,” said a company statement. Total revenue of the company was reported to be Rs 782.7 million at the behest of a onetime Rs 17.9 million transaction of sale of Tamil programmes and film rights to Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd. (ZEEL). Subscription revenues for the quarter were Rs 192.7 million, a growth of 3.7 per cent. “The real growth in revenues was higher as they were booked net of expenses. This change was necessitated due to the formation of Media Pro, a joint venture, which pays subscription revenues to Zee, net of expenses. Hence, the numbers are not comparable to those of the corresponding period last year,” explained the company statement.
Punit Goenka, Managing Director, ZNL, said, “While investment related policy decisions have been under pressure due to the current political environment, Parliament’s clearing of cable digitisation signals the establishment’s commitment to make the media industry more efficient. The ad industry, meanwhile, has been hit as the advertisers have increasingly become choosy about their spends. The euphoria of a sustained industry growth, which was prevalent at the beginning of the year, has been dampened considerably. However, ZNL has shown exceptional operational efficiencies and posted strong financial results for the quarter. Going forward, we hope to maintain the edge in our performance.”
Zee News bouquet of channels includes the existing news channels Zee News, Zee Business, Zee 24 Taas, Zee Punjabi and 24 Ghanta, and new news channels Zee News UP and Zee 24 Ghantalu.
Subhash Chandra, Chairman, ZNL, noted, “As has been pending for a few years, the media industry has begun to consolidate. This is obvious from the various deals being announced over the past few months. We see this consolidation as a confident step forward towards making this industry more profitable.”