Home >> Media–Print >> Article

Closure of some editions and bureaus won't impact circulation and revenues, says HT Media management

23-March-2017
Font Size   16
Closure of some editions and bureaus won't impact circulation and revenues, says HT Media management

The last few months at HT Media have resulted in concerted efforts to take the organisation towards a leaner structure. Having chosen to discontinue with some of its offerings, the company management is certain that the editions which have been taken off the newsstands will not impact its advertising revenues or circulation standing. During Q3 FY 2017 Earnings Conference Call held on January 24, HT Media’s Group CFO Piyush Gupta and Chief Strategy Officer Sandeep Jain lent an insight into the company’s thought process behind the entire cost-rationalisation exercise.

Planned before demonetisation

Admitting that the “whole cost rationalisation exercise (was started) much before this whole demonetisation”, Gupta stated that the core aim was to create a “more agile organisation”.  The need for such a measure was necessitated due to the company being unable to match its revenue expectations. “We thought this was the right moment when our revenue growth expectations were becoming lower, we had to look at the cost to ensure that print remained a sustainable business,” said Jain.

The transcripts of the conference call, which were made public recently, reveal that the cost rationalisation measures were focussed on HT’s print business and are likely to remain so. Digital is slated to not come under the scanner at present. However, HT Media is not yet completely done with reducing costs. “We will be at it for the longest time and the whole idea is to make a much more agile organisation going forward,” stated Gupta. So far, only the “diagnostic stage” has concluded.

Some of the shelved editions were in losses

The retrenchments at Hindustan Times resulted in the newspaper shutting down the editions in Bhopal, Kolkata, Indore and Ranchi. The local bureau in Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi were also closed. However, the HT management reasoned that a few of these editions were actually loss-making (EBITDA numbers) and the bureaus were simply coming out with a few pages of local news content.

“The impact of the closure of editions is rather limited. I would say that these editions have only been shelved, so very small circulation (may fall) as far as these editions are concerned. It will not reflect in the overall numbers,” said Jain. Not just the circulation figures but HT Media is confident that the defunct editions won’t even affect the company’s top line or revenue. On the contrary, the bottom line income could witness an increase owing to closure of a few loss-making business undertakings. 

Reflection of results

The results of the retrenchments have been encouraging for HT Media as it has enabled them to rein in costs to a certain degree. In Q3 FY 17, the cost of raw materials came down by 5.9% while selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) declined by 4.7% when compared with the previous fiscal’s Q3 results. Two of the biggest contributors to HT Media’s expenses, SG&A expenditure and cost of raw materials stood at Rs 215.7 crore and Rs 178.9 crore, respectively. On the other hand, employee costs, though lesser than the other two, went up by 1.1% to Rs 144.8 crore.

Courtesy demonetisation, advertising revenues de-grew but it helped HT save costs in a way. “What has happened is because of the lower advertising, obviously, the pagination is lower and most of the consumption savings is a factor of lower pagination,” Jain asserted. With liquidity being gradually restored in the market, HT has pinned its hopes on getting back significant advertising revenues from its major clients such as automobile, FMCG and retail companies. Alongside real estate, these sectors reportedly underwent a slump in November and December.

 

Tags HT Media Piyush Gupta Sandeep Jain

Varun Raina, Marketing Manager, Airbnb India speaks to exchange4media about the successful #LiveThere campaign and how Bollywood helps them connect with its young consumer

Tim Castree is all praises for his team in India and trusts it to be a result of “an excellent execution of agency’s global strategy” headed by Kartik Sharma

Siddharth Dabhade says Criteo’s technology allows brands to engage with shoppers, create relevant experience on retail apps, thereby driving sales and profits

Shantanu Gangane says OTT platform Viu plans around 20+ originals and is all set to enter the Tamil market with a mix of syndicated and original content

right
left
OFF THE CUFF HAS JOURNALIST ARUN SHOURIE IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA IN MUMBAI IAA HOSTS FIRST INDIAA REGIONAL AWARDS (TELUGU) IN HYDERABAD BREAK THE CEILING TOUCH THE SKY 2018 SEES OVERWHELMING INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION 10TH EDITION OF ABC EUREKA AWARDS IN MUMBAI CELEBRATES WORK OF PARTNER AGENCIES EMINENT JURY PICKS LOUDEST’S 100 MOST POWERFUL INDIAN MUSIC BUSINESS LEADERS MODE LOFT BY SABGROUP LAUNCHES SIGNATURE MENSWEAR POWER DRESSING CLOTHING LINE TOP MARKETERS DISCUSS ART AND SCIENCE OF EFFECTIVE LISTENING @PITCH CMO SUMMIT 2018, DELHI THIRD SEASON OF ‘INDIA’S TOP DIGITAL PLANNERS’ RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN THE DIGITAL INDUSTRY WOMEN ECONOMIC FORUM 2018 SEES DISTINGUISHED GLOBAL PERSONALITIES IN ATTENDANCE PEPPER CREATIVE AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE THE BEST IN ADVERTISING IN SOUTH INDIA RADIO CITY’S POWER OF RADIO MEET HOSTS TOP ADVERTISING INDUSTRY LEADERS TOP INDUSTRY PERSONALITIES ATTEND ZOOM-MYNTRA EVENING TO CELEBRATE THEIR PARTNERSHIP LEADING MARKETERS, EXPERTS SHARE INSIGHTS ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION @ADOBE SYMPOSIUM IN MUMBAI NICKELODEON TRADE PARTY SEES MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN ATTENDANCE GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE INDUSTRY’S MOST DESERVING ACHIEVERS AIMA MANAGING INDIA AWARDS HONOUR THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY BW BUSINESSWORLD’S GREAT INDIA DEBATE BRINGS TOGETHER INTELLECTUALS ACROSS INDUSTRY SECTORS BW BUSINESSWORLD SMART CITIES CONCLAVE PATNA 2018 SEES EMINENT INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE EMINENT JURY PICKS WINNERS OF GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS MADDYS 2018 SEE TOP ADVERTISING AND MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE

He spent 13 years at HT; his previous stints include Whirlpool, Procter & Gamble and Godrej

The case study explains in detail the people strategy executed at GroupM to ensure its talent is digitally charged and is data-centric.

As Zee Telugu completes 13 years, Anuradha Gudur tells us about the channel’s journey