HT Media to invest Rs 400 cr in Fever 104 FM

HT Media Radio business

HT Media, the company that publishes the Hindustan Times newspaper, said it obtained approval from its board of directors to invest another Rs 400 cr into its FM business.

The company operates ‘Fever 104’ FM stations in over a dozen cities in India.

However, it is dwarfed by competitors like Radio Mirchi from the Times of India group, which is present in over 32 markets, including outside India.

A wider footprint is crucial to winning national advertising campaigns from brands and political parties.

HT Media did not clarify the specific purposes for which the funds will be used, except to say that it will be to fund ‘expansion/ growth opportunities in the FM radio business vertical’.

The company is present in print, radio and digital news.

Out of the three, radio is the only division that did not show a revenue decline for the three months ended March.

While digital revenues plunged to Rs 29 cr from Rs 39 cr last year and print revenue declined by 2%, radio revenue remained stable Rs 45 cr.

Moreover, the company has been seeing steady improvement in the operating profit margin of its radio business as it is able to ramp up the relatively younger division.

For the last quarter, for example, profit before interest and tax was 42% of revenue, compared to 13% a year ago.