By Aroon Deep and Nikhil Pahwa

NDTV’s digital profits were greater than their overall profits for the quarter ended 31st March 2017: Digital profits doubled year on year to Rs 8 crores, from Rs 4 crore last year, while the overall profits of the NDTV group were Rs 5 crore. Last quarter, the digital business had reported profits of Rs 7 crore. The Rs 4 crore PAT for the digital business was on revenues of Rs 37 crores – the same as last year – but with lower expenses (of Rs 22 crore, as compared with Rs 29 crore last year).

The company said that its NDTV.com website now had over 120 million unique monthly visitors, and over a billion overall pageviews per month. Last quarter, this was at around 90 million monthly unique visitors and aggregate monthly pageviews of over 800 million.

A year ago, NDTV had said that it was considering listing its web properties, managed by a subsidiary, separately, which would have been the first Indian online content site to trade on the stock exchange. What happened to that plan?

Gadgets360 breaks even for the quarter, again.

NDTV claims that its Gadgets360 tech news site broke even at an operational level. However, this time, the company did not report financial details for the vertical. Last quarter, Gadgets360 had reported a Profit After Tax of Rs 73 lakh. The vertical had then reported 35 million monthly unique visitors, and said that it had moved a total GMV of Rs 100 crore since April 2016. No such details were forthcoming from NDTV this quarter.

Ecommerce losses continue

NDTV’s E-commerce wing continued to make losses, even though its costs were cut by more than half compared to the same quarter last year – it lost Rs 4 crore compared to the loss of Rs 14 crore for the same quarter last year. The E-commerce segment reported revenues of Rs 4 crores for the quarter, double of Rs 2 crores reported last year. The company cut expenses in the business down to Rs 8 crores for the quarter, compared with Rs 17 crore for the same quarter last year.

Important: While the press release claims the above revenues for ecommerce, the financials filed suggest that Retail/ecommerce revenues for NDTV were Rs 5.39 crores for the quarter, and Segment Results (Profit/Loss before tax, interest and exceptional items) indicated a loss of Rs 3.09 crore for the segment.

NDTV’s E-commerce segment includes portals like IndianRoots.in (which sells Indian ethnic wear), CarAndBike, BandBaajaa (wedding planning site), Mojarto(a marketplace for artisans) and Gadgets360 (which lists phones for sale). Note that the company has signed a deal to sell Indianroots to Nameh Hotels.

TV

The Group’s Hindi channel also had profits exceeding the total profits of NDTV: — the channel, which NDTV claims is the country’s only ‘non-tabloid’ news channel in Hindi, made Rs 7 crore in profit this quarter.

Spending cuts

NDTV cut spending by 17% to Rs 137 crore this quarter compared to Rs 164 crore in Q4-FY2015-16. Revenue was also down compared to the same quarter in the previous financial year — the group made Rs 128 crore as compared to Rs 149 crore last year.

Other developments

  • Star anchor Barkha Dutt left the channel in January this year to start her own venture.
  • Last year, Group CEO Vikram Chandra stepped down to focus on journalism and the network’s shows.

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