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Q4 09: Radio One Revenues 48% Up YoY; Midday Posts Losses of Rs 75.2M

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Radio One FM 94.3, the joint venture by Mid-Day launched with BBC Worldwide in June 2006, has recorded a 47.8% rise in annual revenues to Rs. 280.3 million (year on year). Radio One is present in 7 cities.

Radio One has focused on revenue and cost management, instead of following industry norms blindly, MD Vineet Singh Hukmani Radio has said, according to Media NewsLine. That said, revenues for Radio One dropped 3% year on year in Q4, and 23% from Q3 to Rs. 58 million.

Mid-Day’s consolidated net loss for the fourth quarter of 2009 has increased by 15% to Rs. 75.2 million over revenues of Rs. 269.3 million, which has reduced by 16.4% from the previous quarter and 19% from the corresponding quarter last year. Midday Multimedia runs Mid-Day newspaper, Urdu daily Inquilab and Radio One FM. Earnings per share dropped to a negative Rs. 1.45.

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In July 2008, Mid Day set up a new subsidiary called Midday Infomedia, to which the company transferred its entire printing and publishing business via a slump sale. It shut down its Outdoor and TV divisions. It had been looking to raise $10-12 million in order to repay debts of Rs 45 crore and expand to 3 more cities, reports Moneycontrol.

Details: Financials

Newsprint Costs Rise

Newsprint costs ran up a bill of Rs. 133.4 million for the quarter and Rs. 351.4 million for nine months ended December 31, 2008 for Midday’s papers. Costs have increased by 30% from the Q4 last year. Net sales dropped by 14.3% to Rs. 211.4 million from the previous quarter and by 22.4% from Q4 08. Losses have doubled for the division to Rs. 75.6 million during the quarter.

Their flagship product Mid-day is taking a beating due to plateauing subscription rates. Though it is present in top metros and was at one point of time the top daily in Mumbai, the newspaper has not raked in revenues due to its pricing and strategy of ‘free sheets’, which in our opinion it should revoke.

Internet

The company has adopted a cautious dotcom strategy after its website Chalomumbai.com was shut down “in the interests of a group identity.” The site now redirects to its flagship site Mid-day.com. Revenues for MidDay.com have not been shared.

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