HT Media revenue up by 12% , records 5% increase in advertisement revenue

HT Media Limited has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended 31 March, 2009. HT Media maintains prime position among readers according to the Indian Readership Survey, Round 1 2009 released in May 2009 . Hindustan Times maintains its leadership position in Delhi and the national capital region, while growing by 4% in Mumbai Hindi daily Hindustan continues to be the third largest, but fastest growing daily. The financial daily of the group Mint grows its readership by 25%, significantly narrowing the gap with the market leader in key markets.

Radio gains traction across stations; becomes No.1 station in Mumbai and Bengaluru while maintaining its No.2 position in Delhi .Job portal ‘Shine’ has crossed 2.2 million user registrations; focuses on leveraging offline synergies by revamping its print offering ‘Shine weekly’.

Total revenue up 12% to Rs. 13,360 million for FY 2009 & 6% to Rs. 3,375 million for Q4 FY 2009 .FY 2009 EBITDA margin is at 16% despite cost pressures and financial headwinds.

Commenting on the performance for Q4 & FY2009, Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media, said: “I am pleased to report an encouraging financial performance despite the challenges in the macro environment. While our current operations have turned out steady results, our investments in new initiatives will ensure that we maintain our growth going forward. Our results for the full year indicate a tenacity of purpose in the face of strong global economic turbulence. In spite of the economic headwinds, our business strategy has made heartening progress. We have increased our penetration in the Hindi heartland and have consolidated our position in the English dailies segment. We are delighted with the progress made by Mint and Radio. Both have established an enduring brand presence. Our operations in the Internet segment continue to vindicate our trust placed in them.

Despite the prevailing tough macro environment for advertising across sectors, total revenue has increased to Rs. 3,375 million in Q4 FY2009 as compared to Rs. 3,172 million in the corresponding quarter last year . The company has also recorded 5% increase in advertisement revenue of the publishing segment to Rs. 2,797 million in Q4 FY2009 from Rs. 2,655 million in Q4 FY 2008. EBITDA has declined to Rs. 503 million in Q4 FY 2009 from Rs. 724 million in Q4 FY 2008; operating profits are subdued as a result of higher newsprint prices and adverse foreign currency movements. In addition, the adverse economic environment has also led to a slowing in advertising revenue resulting in a decline in EBITDA. PAT decreased to Rs. 234 million in Q4 FY 2009 from Rs. 416 million in Q4 FY 2008 primarily on account of higher newsprint prices; adverse foreign currency movements; slowing growth in advertising revenue; and exceptional items namely provision for decline in value of long term investments.

Total revenue has increased 12% to Rs. 13,360 million from Rs. 11,974 million primarily on account of Rs. 74 million arising from the merger of Radio business effective from 1 January 2009. 11% increase in advertisement revenue of publishing segment to Rs. 11,299 million in FY2009 from Rs. 10,137 million in FY 2008.

EBITDA has declined to Rs. 2,200 million in FY 2009 from Rs. 2,636 million in FY 2008; operating profits are subdued as a result of higher newsprint prices and adverse foreign currency movements.PAT decreased to Rs. 852 million in FY 2009 from Rs. 1,445 million in FY 2008 primarily on account of higher newsprint prices, adverse foreign currency movements; slowing growth in advertising revenue; and exceptional items namely consultancy charges for drawing up of strategic plans for new areas of business and provision for decline in value of long term investments.

The Board of Directors at their meeting on May 18, 2009 also recommended a dividend of 15% translating to Rs 0.30 per equity share of face value Rs 2.

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