HT Media Q1 revenues up 2%

HT Media Limited has announced its financial results for the first quarter ended 30 June, 2009. Total revenues of the company increased by 2% at Rs. 3,351 million compared with Rs. 3,272 million primarily on account of increase of 24% in circulation revenues to Rs. 444 million from Rs. 358 million due to improved realization and increase in cover prices and Rs. 88 million on account of merger of the Radio business; the merger is effective from 1 January 2009 . These increases have been offset to the extent of marginal decline in advertisement revenues to Rs. 2,781 million from Rs. 2,805 million .

Operating margins for the quarter remained stable at 22% due to reduced spend on advertising and sales promotion expenses. Despite continuing slackness in the advertising markets and higher newsprint cost of inventory, EBIDTA was marginally higher at Rs. 756 million from Rs. 745 million 􀂃 PAT was recorded at Rs. 324 million from Rs. 377 million due to higher depreciation and exceptional items, namely, provision for diminution in value of a joint venture of the Company .

Commenting on the performance for Q1 FY2010, Mrs. Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media, said: “We are enthused by our performance in the quarter under review. We have taken several initiatives across our businesses, some of which have already begun to show
results. The relaunched ‘Hindustan Times’ will be of interest to the growing large population of young readers. Our business daily ‘Mint’ has attained the status of a national player having been launched in Kolkata and Chennai. ‘Hindustan’ remains a strong focus area as we consistently look to expand our presence in North India. Our Radio & Internet business also continue to gain traction. The scale, strength and salience of our businesses have enabled us to demonstrate resilience in a difficult macro environment. In addition, several cost optimization measures taken earlier, have started yielding results. I believe we are well positioned to leverage opportunities as the economy improves.”

HT Media Limited will continue executing expansion plans across businesses on the back of strong balance sheet with a net debt of Rs. 1,755 million as at 30 June 2009. Investments made in ‘Hindustan’ and Radio have started showing results and expected to contribute significantly going forward. Strong readership growth and national presence in ‘Mint’ should translate into commensurate revenue going forward. The company will continue investments in Internet and mobile marketing segment; thereby, becoming preferred choice of advertisers across different advertising platforms.

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