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NDTV directed to focus on its digital assets; Net loss up 76.2% in Q2-FY15

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Media house NDTV has informed BSE that its board of directors had mandated NDTV management to focus on further investing in its online assets “to accelerate the Company’s leadership position to benefit from the digital revolution”.

This is after the company board had directed the management to explore restructuring or private placement in NDTV’s digital business NDTV Convergence and other subsidiaries in May this year. NDTV Convergence currently operates the company’s digital properties like NDTV.com, NDTV Gadgets, NDTV Auto and NDTV Cooks among others along with NDTV’s mobile apps.

Interestingly, this move comes at a time when one of NDTV’s shareholders Quantum Securities has issued a public notice alleging that NDTV has portrayed certain present and future financial growth without disclosing its financial liabilities during its recent presentation meetings with investors, fund managers and equity brokers, as indicated by a NewsLaundry report.

In the presentation (pdf) which was later released by the company, NDTV mentions that the “sum of parts of NDTV group assets is not reflected in the market cap of the company, which is especially true for the value of its digital assets”.

NDTV also refuted these allegations to NewsLaundry and mentions that it communicated its tax liabilities verbally during the meeting. The report says this was corroborated by video recordings of the same. NDTV also mentions that the meeting was with stock analysts and not with probable investors.

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NDTV Convergence results: For the quarter ended September 30, 2014, NDTV mentions that NDTV Convergence witnessed a 22% year-on-year revenue growth in this quarter. However, the company doesn’t seem to think the division is important enough to separate it out in its financials yet. Probably because web accounts for only a tiny part of NDTV’s revenues: it had accounted for only 7% of NDTV’s consolidated revenues in FY13 and the company hasn’t disclosed web’s revenues contribution in FY14.

Also note that NDTV had earlier stated plans of merging NDTV Convergence Limited with NDTV Labs Limited to a new unnamed subsidiary, for which it had received board approval in Q3-FY14.

NDTV Financials

NDTV group posted an operating income of Rs 110 crore for the quarter, registering a marginal growth from Rs 106 crore in the same quarter last year.

The company posted a net loss of Rs 26.89 crore for the quarter, a significant increase from Rs 15.26 crore loss in the same quarter last year and Rs 1.49 crore in the previous quarter.

NDTV’s television media segment reported revenues of Rs 108.83 crore for the quarter, which was marginally up from Rs 107.42 crore in the same quarter last year. The segment reported a loss of Rs 15.22 crore for the quarter, as compared to 1.98 crore in the same quarter last year. What’s noteworthy though is that NDTV Profit / Prime has reported EBITDA positive this quarter, within six months of its re-launch. (Also readNDTV E-commerce loss at Rs 3.16 crore in Q2-FY15)

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