HT Media Q2 net more than triples

Revenue growth continues to be driven by strong increase in advertising revenues. Advertising revenues increased by 39 per cent from last year quarter to Rs210.6 crore, forming 84.26 per cent of operating revenues. The company had raised advertisement rates by 15 per cent during the quarter.

Operating profits or EBITDA, before other income, more than doubled to Rs47.66 crore from Rs22.78 crore for the previous year quarter. Operating margins as a percentage of revenues improved substantially to 19.07 per cent from 11.67 per cent.

Improved operating margins were mostly a result of substantial reduction in advertising and promotional expenses and lower growth in other operating expenses. Promotional expenses declined 43.31 per cent to Rs10.63 crore from Rs18.75 crore while other operating expenses increased by 12.02 per cent. Input costs, like cost of newsprint, went up by 32.12 per cent while staff costs were higher by 23.34 per cent.

Interest costs for the quarter went up by 10.82 per cent over the previous year quarter while depreciation charges declined very marginally. Outstanding debt as at the end of the quarter was Rs165 crore and average cost of funds was 8.1 per cent per annum. Tax provisions were substantially higher at Rs14.96 crore as compared to 4.94 crore for the previous year quarter.

The bottom line was also helped by a substantial jump in other income, which went up 118.44 per cent to Rs7.58 crore from Rs3.47 crore.

The company said its new initiatives are progressing well. Mumbai edition of the English newspaper has stabilised with good growth in advertisement revenues. The Hindi language newspaper is also doing well with more editions launched recently.