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Q1-10: Zee News Net Profit Rises 33.8%; Ad Contribution Rises; 24 Ghanta Suffers Loss

Zee News, which operates six regional news channels and a business channel, has experienced a good start to the new fiscal with net profit rising sequentially 33.8% to Rs. 119.40 million and consolidated sales of Rs. 1.37 billion, down marginally from the previous quarter. Salary cuts and staff rationalization reduced personnel costs by 3.9% to Rs. 196.3 million compared to Q4-09. This resulted in a reduction in expenditure by 4.3% to Rs. 1156.82 million,  despite a rise in selling, distribution and administrative costs.  "Our endeavor to de-leverage the balance sheet has led to a 13% reduction in interest costs sequentially” Laxmi Narain Goel, Managing Director, Zee News said. Details: Release | Financials | Call Consolidated EBITDA is up 43.5% to Rs.248 million year on year. New businesses reduced EBITDA levels to 18.5% from 41.9% during the quarter but it is still higher than the 16% margins recorded in Q1, FY-09. Expenditure on new businesses excluding 24 Ghanta, totalled Rs. 50.94 million, almost 75% higher year on year. Advertising Sales The total contribution of advertising has risen to 79.4%, compared to 77.3% last quarter. Sales through advertising has turned around showing a 1.9% quarterly and 22.7% year on year increase in revenues from advertising to Rs.109.08 million. Political advertisements signed on last quarter, which were removed once the code of conduct was sounded, have come into effect this quarter, as Zee News Chairman Subash Chandra said in the conference call last quarter. The company projected that the second quarter of the fiscal…

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