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Sep09: HT Media Profit Up 92%; Circulation Revenues Up, Advt Down

Media company HT Media Ltd, which owns the newspapers Hindustan Times and Mint, as well as online jobs classifieds business Shine.com, has reported a Net Profit of Rs. 314.1 million for the quarter ending September 30th 2009 (Sep09), up 92% year-on-year from Rs. 162.8 million reported for the corresponding period last year; note that Sep08 was particularly bad quarter for HT Media, and the company had reported a 52% sequential decline in profit during that quarter.

Revenue Breakup

At Rs. 3481 million, HT Media revenues were up 4% yoy, helped by a 28% increase in circulation revenues to Rs. 479 million from Rs. 373 million due to improved realizations and increase in cover prices effective Jun09. The company has also booked Rs. 98 million on account of the merger of the radio business. Advertising revenues were down to Rs. 2,821 million from Rs. 2,831 million in Sep08. Raw material costs are down by 16%, at Rs. 1228 million, compared to Rs. 1460 million for the corresponding period last year. The company has said that declining newsprint cost has benefited them, given that the high cost inventory is running out.

Employee cost increased 11% to Rs. 549 million. EBITDA increased from Rs. 450 million in Sep08 to Rs. 685 in Sep09, with EBITDA margins increasing to 20% from 13%.

Digital Investments

During the quarter, HT Media gave Rs. 60 million as advance against issue of compulsory convertible Rs. 60 million in HT Digital Media Holdings Limited, the holding company for its digital businesses, including the joint venture with Velti PLC and Firefly e-Ventures which manages Shine.com, Desimartini.com and sales for all of HTs digital properties. Firefly continues to receive a crutch to lean on from HT Media, which gave the digital company a loan of Rs. 25 million during the quarter.

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Shine.com has crossed 3 million candidates, though there is no indication of resume modifications or active users.

The joint venture with Velti PLC has launched campaigns: but that’s something which the HT Media Investor Relations Team had told MediaNama last quarter.

Ads For Equity

HT Media has reported a diminution in the value of its ads for equity business, by attributing a loss of Rs. 40 million to the ‘Partnership for Growth’ business for the quarter.

We’ll update soon with more inputs…

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