Balaji Telefilms' FY21 net loss doubles to Rs 118.9 crore
The company stated that its digital business remains strong
Content production company Balaji Telefilms has almost doubled its consolidated net loss to Rs 118.9 crore for the fiscal ended 31st March 2021 from Rs 59 crore in the previous fiscal. Income from operations has slid 49% to Rs 293.7 crore from Rs 573.6 crore in the previous fiscal.
Balaji's cost of production stood at Rs 261 crore, compared to Rs 389.4 crore. The company plunged into an operating loss of Rs 104 crore compared to an operating profit of Rs 10.7 crore a year ago. The company attributed the weak financial results to COVID-19 impact on the TV and movie business. It further stated that the digital business under ALTBalaji remains strong.
The company's Q4 net loss stood at Rs 39.9 crore, compared to Rs 31.6 crore in the trailing quarter. Total income from operations fell to Rs 74.9 crore from Rs 105.5 crore. The cost of production fell to Rs 77.7 crore from Rs 86.3 crore. EBITDA loss widened to Rs 41.3 crore from Rs 24 crore.
For the full fiscal, ALTBalaji reported an operating loss of Rs 145.1 crore as the digital business incurred expenditure of Rs 208.9 crore on a revenue of Rs 61.1 crore. The cost of production stood at Rs 105 crore, while marketing and distribution expenses were Rs 46 crore.
In Q4, the operating loss stood at Rs 53 crore on a revenue of Rs 11.4 crore and expenditure of Rs 64.4 crore. Production cost and marketing & distribution expenses stood at Rs 37.23 crore and Rs 14.93 crore respectively.
ALTBalaji has sold 4.7 million subscriptions in FY21, compared to 3.4 million in FY20. The direct subscription revenues came in at Rs 54 crore compared to Rs 37 crore a year ago. The platform's current active subscriber base stands at 2.3 million, with 83 shows live on the platform. ALTBalaji’s remains focused on Hindi Originals and has 40+ shows signed and committed to.
The platform signed co-sharing deals with other OTT platforms like ZEE5 and MX Player to drive creative and operational synergies. Pricing remains at Rs 300 a year / Rs 100 a quarter. While the overall revenue for the year as per IND-AS was at Rs 61 crore, however, additional Rs 16.3 crore of revenue to be accounted in FY22 as deferred revenue.
The company recorded revenue of Rs 315.8 crore in FY21 from the TV production business, while its expenditure outgo stood at Rs 306.2 crore. The net profit and EBITDA came in at Rs 25.3 crore and Rs 37.4 crore respectively. In Q4, the total income and expenditure stood at Rs 101.64 crore and Rs 96.79 crore respectively. The net profit from the segment was Rs 13.28 crore, while the EBITDA was Rs 11.19 crore.
Balaji said that the overall demand for content remains strong, however, there is softness in rates given the impact on broadcasters revenue and future outlook on broadcasting revenues. Further, the TV business has now returned to normal levels with a very robust pipeline of new shows. Hourly realisations remain soft at Rs 30 lakhs per hr and expected to remain soft as broadcasters continue to assess Covid-19 impact.
TV business returned to normal in Q4 with 223 hours of production across 8 shows and a strong pipeline for the year. Total hours for the year at 584 hours vs 823 in FY20, though realisation rates remain low given broadcast uncertainties.
A total of eight shows were on the air during the quarter with four shows running through the quarter - Kumkum Bhagya, Kundali Bhagya on Zee TV, Yeh Hai Chahatein on Star and Molkki on Colors. Other shows include Prem Bandhan on Dangal, Kuch to Hai on Colors and Brahmarakshas 2 on Zee TV. Naagin 5 came to an end in the quarter.
The company said that four confirmed new shows (across 3 broadcasters) to launch in FY22, adding to existing shows.
The company reported negligible revenue in Q4 and FY21 since COVID-19 impacted the theatrical release of movies. The company has reworked it movie slate accordingly. It has tightly controlled investments across movies, with continuous monitoring of shooting schedules and the availability of theatrical windows.
Balaji said it is open to various monetisation opportunities for existing and future projects, including direct to digital launches. Two movies were sold to digital platforms in the year as theatres remain closed. The company said that direct to digital movies remain a profitable opportunity given the growing demand from digital platforms.
The current pipeline includes five exciting projects. Villain 2 directed by Mohit Suri and starring John Abraham, shooting under production. Goodbye, directed by Vikas Behl and staring Mr Amitabh Bachchan, started production in April 2021.
Dobaaraa directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Taapsee Pannu, 100% shoot completed, now under post-production. U-Turn staring Alaya F, the remake of hit Kannada movie now in the pre-production stage. One more movie which is an official adaptation is yet to start production.
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