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DB Corp Q4 FY18 revenues up 10% at Rs 5,745 mn; ad & circulation see growth

DB Corp Limited (DBCL), home to flagship newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Divya Marathi and Saurashtra Samachar, has reported a 10 per cent growth in its consolidated total revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 to Rs 5,745 million, as against Rs 5,222 million reported during Q4 FY17. 

Consolidated advertising revenues grew by 8.2 per cent YOY to Rs 3,861 million as against Rs 3,567 million reported during Q4 FY17. Circulation revenue too increased by 8.5 per cent YOY to Rs 1,320 million from Rs 1,217 million during Q4 FY17, largely an outcome of circulation expansion strategy. 

EBITDA during Q4 FY2018 stood at Rs 1,051 million (margins 18 per cent) vis-a-vis Rs 1,173 million (margin 22 per cent), after considering forex loss of Rs. 9.9 million. Further, excluding, impact of circulation expansion related one-off expenditure, EBIDTA growth would have been in mid-single digit. 

Consolidated profit after tax (PAT) stood at Rs 571 million, as against Rs 642 million reported during Q4 FY17, after considering forex loss of Rs 16.4 million. Further, excluding circulation expansion strategy related one-off expenditure, PAT would have seen double digit growth. 

Radio business revenue grew by 9.5 per cent YOY to Rs 362 million from Rs 330 million reported during corresponding period last year. Radio business EBIDTA grew by 45 per cent YOY to Rs 116 million (margin 32 per cent) from Rs 80 million (margin 24 per cent). Radio business PAT grew by 70 per cent YOY to Rs 55 million (margin 15 per cent) from Rs 32 million (margin 10 per cent). 

Digital business revenue stood at Rs 131 million versus Rs 142 million reported during corresponding period last year. 

For the financial year 2017-18, the consolidated total revenue grew by 3.4 per cent YOY to Rs 23,522 million in the current period from Rs 22,750 million generated during the last fiscal. 

Advertising revenues grew by 3 per cent YOY to Rs 16,425 million in current period as against Rs 15,973 million. Circulation revenue grew by 7 per cent YOY to Rs 5,145 million from Rs 4,814 million, largely an outcome of volume growth driven by circulation expansion strategy and without any reduction in cover prices. 

EBIDTA for the current fiscal stood at Rs 5,875 million (margin 25 per cent), as against EBIDTA of Rs 6,592 million (margin 29 per cent) reported during FY17. Further, excluding circulation expansion related one-off expenditures and previous year’s non-recurring gains on account of Private Treaty business deals and music royalty reversal of radio business, DB Corp’s EBIDTA has registered growth YOY. 

PAT stood at Rs 3,240 million (PAT margin 14 per cent), compared to Rs 3,748 million (PAT margin 16 per cent), delivered in FY17, after considering forex loss of Rs 7.5 million. Further, excluding circulation expansion related one-off expenditures and previous year’s non-recurring gains on account of Private Treaty business deals and music royalty reversal of radio business, PAT has registered high single digit growth YOY. 

Radio business revenues grew by 6 per cent YOY to Rs 1,358 million, as against Rs 1,273 million in FY17. Radio business EBIDTA stood at Rs 362 million (27 per cent margin). Radio business PAT stood at Rs 153 million (11 per cent margin). 

Digital business revenue for FY2017-18 stood at Rs 529 million. 

Commenting on the company’s performance for Q4 and FY2017-18, Sudhir Agarwal, Managing Director, DB Corp Ltd, said, “Our performance in the fourth quarter has reflected a culmination of all the efforts we have been undertaking over the last one year in implementing editorial and circulation expansion strategies. As evident, both have played out their complimentary roles and we have reported significant circulation-led growth.” 

He further said that the organisation’s focus markets remained the same in Gujarat, Bihar, and Rajasthan and added that DB Corp was working hard to further increase its circulation numbers in the markets where it already enjoyed a strong dominance, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Chandigarh. 

“A key aspect of our circulation strategies has been the strong reader engagement initiatives that helped in expanding our markets and attracting new readers. Through these efforts, we have been successful in also attracting the right profile of audiences in NCCS A and B categories also benefiting our advertisers. Our stringent business processes are ensuring that all our resources are prudently utilised, and through capabilities in technology, we have ensured that every team’s efficiency and productivity is at their best. The non-print businesses are also well synergised and strongly complement the overall package to advertisers and brands,” Agarwal elaborated. 

“At a broader level, all fundamental business growth drivers are in place, which positions us well to capitalise on emerging industry opportunities. The positive outlook on India reflected by global institutions is providing a strong impetus to the positive sentiment on-ground that signals a better new fiscal ahead,” he concluded.

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