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DEN Networks had 193K broadband subs in Q1FY17; Data usage up 66%

Multi System Operator DEN Networks had 193,000 broadband subscribers for the quarter ended June  2017 (Q1 FY18), which is up from 115,000 subscribers in the same quarter last year. During the quarter, the operator added close to 16,000 new broadband subscribers, lower than the 18,000 subscribers it added in the last quarter.

As seen in the case of telcos, DEN’s subscriber data usage has been growing while ARPU has been falling. For the quarter ended June 2017, average consumption per household stood at 75GB, up 66% from an average consumption of 45GB a year ago. On a QoQ basis, average consumption grew by 12% from 67GB. On the other hand, broadband ARPU fell by 7% YoY to Rs 725 in Q1 FY18.

The company made Rs 21 crore for the quarter from its broadband segment, which is up 19% YoY from Rs 18 crore in Q1 FY16. In the previous quarter, it made Rs 22 crore from broadband. The broadband segment suffered a loss of Rs 8 crore during the quarter, which decreased from 15 crore loss a year ago. However, on an EBITDA level, the ISP claims to be profitable; it turned profitable (on EBITDA) in Q3 FY17.

Broadband strategy for upcoming quarters

DEN currently provides its cable services in over 400 towns across 13 states. However, its broadband service is currently available in only 4 cities—Delhi, Kanpur, Jodhpur and Gurgaon with speeds ranging from 5Mbps to 100 Mbps. It plans to expand to 15-20 cities in this year, with a focus on Tier-2 cities. The company will use either a direct or franchisee model to reach out to its customers in these cities, according to its investor presentation for Q1 FY17.

Caching tie ups: The ISP also has to caching/peering tie ups for Facebook, Google and “other major content providers to enhance customer experience and optimization in Internet Bandwidth”. Note that there was been a rise in the number of caching/peering tie ups in India led by streaming services like Netflix. Facebook is also directly peering with GPX Mumbai, a private peer exchange.

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Cable Segment

Cable segment, however, remains a majority (49%) of DEN’s business, at Rs 181 crore for the quarter, which is up 34% from Rs 135 crore in Q1 FY16. Cable also generates a significantly higher EBITDA of Rs 49 crore. DEN, however, incurs a higher expenditure running its cable business when compared to its broadband business. Cable’s total expenditure was Rs 250 crore, which increased 17% YoY. The cable segment reported a profit of Rs 4 crores, up from a loss of Rs 38 crore in the same quarter last year.

Other financial metrics

  • DEN’s overall business reported an income (pre-activation) of Rs 320 crore, up 25% YoY from Rs 256 crore.
  •  Overall consolidated Profit Before Tax was at Rs 6 crore in Q1 FY17 compared to a loss of 35 crs in in the previous quarter.
  • Overall EBITDA (post activation) stood at Rs 61 crore in Q1 FY17, up 4% QoQ and 42% YoY.

Download: Investor Release | Financials

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