TV18 Broadcast profit up 84% on lower costs, recovery

TV18 Broadcast Q3 performance details

TV18 Broadcast, one of India’s top TV broadcasting companies, reported a whopping 84% jump in its net profit for the December quarter.

The numbers were boosted by a sharp fall in operating and tax expenses, as well as by a steady recovery in revenue aided by festival spending.

The company’s consolidated net profit for the third quarter rose to Rs 377.2 cr from Rs 205.2 cr last year and Rs 115.6 cr in the second quarter (July-September).

This was largely the result of a sharp pullback in the company’s revenues, which had seen a dramatic fall in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recovery comes as the number of new cases of COVID-19 in India have fallen by around 75% from their peak seen in September last year due to widespread immunity in the population.

It is estimated that close to 50% of the population in hot spot areas — such as Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai — are now immune to the virus as they have already been infected once.

The falling COVID-19 numbers has boosted morale and helped usher in a gradual, but steady, economic recovery in most areas of business.

And with the recovery has come an increase in ad-spends by companies on television and print media.

Ad revenue was also helped by the fact that some of the festival-related spending and campaigns shifted to October this year from September in 2019, boosting Q3 numbers at the expense of Q2.

All this helped TV18 Broadcast, which controls channels such as Colors and CNBC-TV18, report the first year-on-year increase in its standalone revenue since the pandemic started in March 2019.

On a standalone basis, the company’s revenue increased to Rs 306 cr from Rs 288 cr last year and Rs 254 cr in the preceding quarter (Jul-Sep). This revenue largely reflects the operations of its news channels such as CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz.

The company’s consolidated revenue, which includes numbers from its entertainment and infotainment joint ventures such as Colors and History TV18, also showed a sharp recovery, but was not able to surpass the year-ago levels.

The company’s consolidated revenue from operations increased to Rs 1,361 cr from Rs 1,013 cr in the preceding quarter (Jul-Sep), but failed to reach the Rs 1,446 cr recorded in the Oct-Dec quarter of last year.

The increased revenue flowed through to the bottom line as the company was already on a cost-saving mode due to the pandemic.

Like others, TV18 Broadcast too had cut down on discretionary spending such as marketing and promotional expenses.

Compared to a fall of Rs 75 cr in consolidated revenue, operating expenses were down by almost Rs 127 cr, boosting margins.

There was also a favorable swing of Rs 120 cr in the company’s net tax expenses this quarter compared to the same period last year.

As a result, net profit for the third quarter was higher by Rs 172 cr at Rs 377.2 cr compared to last year.

The broadcaster said it can now say that the pandemic has not had any big impact on its long-term financial condition.

“The Group has evaluated impact of this pandemic on it’s business operations and based on it’s review and current indicators of future economic conditions, there is no significant impact on it’s consolidated financial results and the Group expects to recover the carrying amount of all it’s assets,” said Chairman Adil Zainulbhai.