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Q1-09 Results: Web18 Reports $1.8 Million Loss; Revenues At $3.1 Million

Download the financials here. We’ve included results from the previous quarter to enable a quarter-on-quarter comparison; they weren’t a part of the company release.

Web18, the Internet company from the Network18 group, has reported an operating loss of Rs. 5.59 Crores (around $1.8 million), more than twice the Rs. 2.36 Crore loss they had reported for the same quarter last year, but much less than the Rs. 13.5 Crore loss they reported last quarter. The company continues to be in investment mode, with operating expenses of Rs. 18.75 crores (around $4.1 Million), down from Rs. 31.5 crore expense last quarter. Remember, they bought the domain name In.com (a two letter domain name) in the last quarter.

Even revenues appear to be down quarter on quarter: at Rs. 13.15 crores (around $3.1 Million), down 27 percent from Rs. 18 crores last quarter. However, a year-on-year comparison might be more valid – in which case, revenues are up 41 percent from Rs. 9.34 crores in Q1 last fiscal.

So how can Network18 sustain this performance? As per the release, TV18 has around Rs. 700 crores ($165 million) cash on its balance sheet, and a war chest to fund growth in TV, Internet and Print.

Beyond the financials:
In.com went live last fiscal, and came out of private beta recently.
— Websites Moneycontrol.com , EasyMf.com, and Indiaearnings.com received a significant facelift, but the back-end remains the same – the old Moneycontrol.com infrastructure. There’s a legacy issue there.
— Moneycontrol claims over 1.2 million registered users, over 6.5 million Unique Users. They claim to have been visited by over 16 million unique users in the last six months, and that 11.5% users come back to moneycontrol 200 times in a month.
— PowerYourTrade.com has over 50,000 paid subscribers.
— Compareindia.com allows users to compare 32 categories of products

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A question: As per notes in the BSE filing, TV18 has investments of Rs 13.35 crores, Rs 5.94 crores and Rs 15.11 crores in Newswire18 India Ltd, iNews.com Ltd and Mobilenxt Teleservices Pvt Ltd respectively. These companies have incurred losses in the current year. Anything on with company iNews.com Ltd is? We’ve contacted Network18 for details.
iNews.com Ltd is an unlisted subsidiary of CNBC-TV18, in which CNBC Asia Pacific owns a 10 percent stake.

Note: I have an inconsequential number of shares of Network18 Fincap

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