The 2008-09 fiscal wasn’t a particularly good one for film studio Mukta Arts, as the company founded by director Subhash Ghai reported a 66% decline in profitability from Rs. 130 million in FY08 to Rs. Rs. 44 million in FY09.
In April, Mukta Arts had announced that CEO Ravi Gupta was stepping down, following the expiry of his five year contract, though he remains involved as an advisor to the company.
This decline in profitability is despite a 50% increase in net sales from Rs. 1.107 billion in FY08 to Rs. 1.656 billion in FY09. Earnings per share for the year dropped 66% to Rs. 1.94.
Costs And Revenues Tend To Be Lumpy
Mukta Arts witnessed a 67% increase in cost of production, distribution and worldwide rights software for the year, particularly in Q3 when costs skyrocketed to Rs. 784 million. Bear in mind that the film business shouldn’t be judged quarter on quarter due to a lumpiness in production costs:
Revenues tend to be lumpy too: last quarter, the company had reported a net profit of Rs. 58 million, with net sales amounting to Rs. 898 million, due to the release of the film Yuvraaj. Net sales declined this quarter to Rs. 251 million, with a net loss of Rs. 18 million.
What About Coruscant?
During the year, Mukta Arts bought a controlling 51% stake in struggling mobile content company Coruscant Tec, and had the option of buying the remaining 49%; payouts were dependent on targets set. Coruscant was acquired with the mandate of monetizing Mukta Arts’ content on the mobile, and we hope to see some inputs on mobile revenues in Mukta Arts’ annual report. Nothing in the Q4 filing, though.
Exits Red Carpet Films: In April, Mukta Arts announced that the company had sold its entire equity in Red Carpet Films Ltd to its original promoter, effective from March 25, 2009.