Web18, the Internet and (somewhat) mobile subsidiary of the Network18 group, which runs several of the groups sites including In.com, MoneyControl.com and IBNLive.com, among others, has reported an operating break even for the quarter ended December 31st 2010, on revenues of Rs. 22 crore. Web18 has stopped publishing detailed financial information of its performance, and the Profit/Loss After Tax has not been disclosed by TV18.
As indicated in the chart below, Q4 is typically the best quarter of the year for Web18: we believe that this is largely due to the announcement of the Union Budget, which gives a significant leg-up to moneycontrol.com, so one should expect at least an operating profit in the coming quarter. Note that, as a part of the restructuring of the Network18 Group, some parts of Web18’s business are being merged into Network18, effective April 1st 2011. e-eighteen Ltd (essentially MoneyControl.com) will not be merged until pending litigation is settled.
Web18 is claiming that In.com is a market leaders in the horizontal portal category. As we had said earlier, In.com essentially tries to garner traffic from search engine optimization, and often, using others copyrighted content, indulging in what could be copyright violation. We find this approach to building a ‘horizontal’ deplorable.
During the quarter, Web18 made what appeared to be the first moves in the last couple of years towards focusing on content, instead of aggregation: they hired R. Jagannathan, former Executive Editor at DNA, and Durga Raghunath, former Web and Mobile Editor for Wall Street Journal, India. They also launched applications: Markets on Mobile, M3 and IBNLive mobile apps across platforms during the last quarter.
BookMyShow Reports EBITDA Profit
While not disclosing numbers, Web18 has said that Bookmyshow.com, it’s ticketing subsidiary, showed strong revenue growth and turned profitable on an EBITDA basis this quarter. Note that Q4 might not be a good quarter for BookMyShow: movie releases are expected to be postponed due to the ICC Cricket World Cup, and competitor KyaZoonga.com has the official ticketing rights for the tournament. For the previous fiscal year (2009-10), BookMyshow had reported revenues of Rs. 12 crore, and a loss of Rs. 1.5 crore.
– Web18 To Be Merged Into Network18; To Settle With Nokia Growth Partners
– Former WSJ India Mobile & Digital Editor Durga Raghunath Joins Web18
– Web18 Ropes In DNA’s Former Executive Editor R. Jagannathan; Newfound Content Focus