NDTV Convergence, the NDTV Networks PLC (NNPLC) subisidiary which houses the digital properties from media group NDTV, has reported a loss after tax of Rs. 91.1 million for the full year ending 31st March 2009, up by 65.45 percent from the Rs. 55.068 million loss the company reported in the previous fiscal.
This loss is in contrast with a turnover growth of 117.82%, from Rs. 49.128 million in 2007-08 to Rs. 107.011 million in 2008-09. Readers should note that for most of 2007-08 fiscal, NDTV Convergence had outsourced sales to NDTV Media, and sales was brought in-house in January last year. The turnover is, frankly, still quite small. To put things into context, Rediff.com did $3.95 million (around Rs. 190 million) in Indian Online revenues in the first quarter this year, while Web18 reported operating revenues of Rs. 142.10 million for the same period. NDTV Convergence did less in the last fiscal. But with an increase in turnover, one is likely to witness an increase in losses as well.
There has been a change in the shareholding of NDTV Convergence: While at the end of FY09, NNPLC held 83 percent in NDTV Convergence, this was brought down to 75 percent at the end of FY09. NDTV Ltd owns 17 percent in NDTV Convergence.
Two key executives have left NDTV Covergence over the last five months: first CEO Sanjay Trehan left in March to join Microsoft, then COO (Business) Salil Kumar followed suit a few weeks ago. No replacements have been announced yet.
Partnerships & Performance
NDTV has inked partnerships with Career Builder for jobs, Carwale for Auto, and also launched tubaah.com for NDTV video content, housing over 50,000 videos. They also launched a Hindi site NDTVkhabar.com, and partnered with NBCU for a revamp. Apart from this, they launched nogyan.com, targeting 15-30 year olds. The company claims that they saw a jump in pageviews of NDTV.com of over 1.8 times during Feb 2009, over April 2008, and particularly during big events, there was a sharp jump in pageviews, revenues and unique visitors. NDTV Ltd Chairman Prannoy Roy has said, “Exciting new plans are planned – the best is clearly still to come.”
According to NDTV Ltds Annual Report for 2008-09, the NDTV Convergence board allotted 267 equity shares and 5,067 equity shares to the consultants and trustees of NDTV Employees Group Trust respectively collectively amounting to 8% of Post issue Paid Up Equity Capital of the company, partly paid up to the extent of Rs. 7.50 per share. In respect of shares allotted to consultants NDTV Convergence has recognised Rs 1.108 million as consultancy expense being the excess of the fair value over the issue price.