TV18 Broadcast's profit up by 78.9% to Rs 746 cr in Q4 FY21
The operating EBITDA grew to Rs 808 cr, the highest ever, in both TV news and entertainment verticals
TV18 Broadcast Ltd has reported Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 746 crore, an increase of 78.9% for the financial year ended March 31, 2021, against Rs 409 crore in the year ended March 31, 2020, for improved operating profitability and 38% lower interest costs. The network’s revenue from operations for the year ended March 31, 2021, declined by 13.08% to Rs 4,498 crore as compared to Rs 5,175 crore on March 31, 2020.
The company’s Q4 operating EBITDA was up 16% YoY whereas the operating Margin expanded to the highest ever i.e 21%. Also, the entertainment operating margins are at a healthy 19% rise in Q4 whereas news margins rose to the highest-ever levels of 27% in Q4, led by 5% YoY revenue growth.
As per the official press note, consolidated annual EBITDA margins rose to 18%, in spite of COVID. The company recorded the highest operating EBITDA at Rs. 808 crore in both verticals, TV News and Entertainment, reporting robust financial performance. TV News operating margin near-doubled to 16% YoY, as ad revenue grew through the year, while entertainment margins at 18.6% YoY are highest ever, led by cost efficiencies.
Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of TV18, said, “The group has successfully dealt with the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, and posted much-improved profitability in a difficult year. Our brands have continued to grow in strength and salience during this period. This bears testament to our business process resilience and innovation in adversity; factors that have proved critical and will continue to remain of prime importance as we navigate any future challenges. Our plans to invest in digital growth and our resolve to excel in the television remain constants amidst a dynamic business environment.”
As per the earnings report, entertainment advertising ex-live-events (which were deferred) have grown in high single digits, as recovery from COVID was cemented with a full roster of original programming. The resumption of two channels on Freedish and the strong performance of marquee properties Bigg Boss and Dance Deewane continue to drive up viewership and monetization. While TV News ratings remained under blackout since Oct-20, the network’s news channel portfolio was largely unaffected as it grew across revenue streams, including virtual events.
Other highlights of Q4- domestic subscription revenue growth due to improved tie-ups in TV and Digital (both B2B and B2C) offset stress in International. As per the earning report, subscription revenue remained largely resilient to COVID impact and grew 1% in FY21.
The company mentioned that the broad-based cost controls helped offset COVID impact and sharpened operating leverage. Q4 opex was down 10% YoY despite the full resumption of programming and calibrated investments into marketing/distribution in tandem with monetization opportunities.
TV viewership has settled higher above pre-pandemic levels, the company stated in earning report. TV households have increased to 210 mn vs 197 mn in 2018 as per BARC, and penetration is still at 66%. TV in India, therefore, is a growing medium with further headroom.
The company said digital engagement continued to grow linked to the volume of high-quality content and key events. Industry sources indicate a 10% YoY increase in OTT video consumption. Increased propensity to pay has been witnessed, amidst domestic OTTs increasing prices selectively; while global players create India-specific cheaper offerings. This supports the network’s belief that in the Indian context both mediums will continue to grow in parallel, across both free and pay ecosystems.
The network further stated that its class-leading non-fiction content continued to be the driver for stickiness on Voot, with Bigg Boss Kannada following the successful Bigg Boss Hindi. Legends Cup cricket and Carabao Cup football generated consumer traction as well as advertiser interest.
The network mentioned that the app enjoyed a very loyal audience base, with an average watch time of over 45mins/user/day. Also, pay-product Voot Select was the fastest to reach 1 mn B2C subscribers in its first year, indicating that our subject-driven approach to content strategy resonates with consumers. Bundling of Voot with telcos, digital extensions of traditional distributors, and high-end nonmedia digital platforms continue to further enhance reach and subscribers.
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