DB Corp advertising sales down 6% in Oct-Dec

North Indian newspaper publisher DB Corp reported disappointing results for the third quarter as its key revenue sources, advertising, saw a abnormal decline during the quarter.

Revenue from print advertisements declined by 5.8% despite the comparison being with a quarter that was ravaged by demonetization.

Print advertising revenue fell to Rs 378 cr from 401 cr in the same quarter last year, but was higher than the Rs 350 cr reported in the preceding three months (which was a 6% year-on-year growth).

As a result, total revenue of the company fell 4.5% to Rs 603 cr.

The company said the reason for the decline was that last year’s advertising numbers had been boosted by one-time revenue related to to “private treaty & festival billing.”

Private treaties refer to long-term agreements entered by media companies to sell space, often in return for a stake in the advertiser.

Besides print ad sales, radio and digital too saw a decline in advertisement sales during the latest quarter.

Radio ad sales fell 7.6% on year to Rs 34 cr. In the preceding September quarter, they had jumped 17% to 35 cr.

Digital ad sales fell 5.1% to 15.4 cr. In the preceding quarter, they had fallen 12% to 12.3 cr.

It is not clear if the one-time items also impacted radio and digital ad sales as well.

Circulation Revenue grew by 6% YOY to Rs 132 cr, “largely driven by volume growth from mature markets.”

EBIDTA was at Rs 143.4 cr (margin 24%) for the quarter against Rs 201.9 cr (margin 32%) last year. In the preceding quarter, EBITDA had fallen 6% on year 146 cr.

Net profit stood at Rs 78.1 cr, against Rs 118.1 cr last year.

Radio business EBIDTA stood at Rs. 97 million (29% margin), against Rs. 148 million last year. Radio Business PAT was at Rs. 42 million (12% margin), against Rs. 81 million.

“The focus in the third quarter of this fiscal continued to be on two key initiatives which we started earlier – the product strengthening campaign and the circulation enhancement journey,” said Sudhir Agarwal, Managing Director, D. B. Corp Ltd. “The Outcome has been a steady growth in our circulation.”

“Our focus is towards achieving stronger ad sales and With the team’s unwavering efforts we are confident of reporting stronger performance. Our internal measures adopted to support the editorial and sales team through initiatives like the DB Knowledge App and more impactful leadership-to-unit connect, are strengthening Our internal efficiencies, our agility in decision making and quick turnaround.”