NDTV’s digital business reported profits of Rs 7 crores on revenues of Rs 34 crores for the quarter ended 30th September 2017, even as the group continued to make losses. Revenues for the digital business were down quarter-on-quarter (from Rs 38 crores), and 13.3% up from Rs 30 crores last year. For the half year, NDTV Convergence revenues increased by 35%, on a YoY basis, it said.
Despite this, profit was flat QoQ, and 40% up compared with Rs 5 crores of profit in the same quarter last year. EBITDA was Rs 12 crores, 20% higher than the Rs 10 crores reported for the same period last year. This is despite the fact that advertising-supported businesses have shown a slowdown in growth, owing to the impact of a botched GST rollout this quarter. Q3 is typically the best quarter, given that it’s the festive season.
The company added that NDTV Convergence is now tracking nearly 150 million unique visitors per month, up by 62% year-on-year and that mobile traffic has doubled since last year. This is up from 135 million per month last year, and it’s worth remembering that last the quarter, NDTV also entered a high traffic segment: railway enquiry, with the launch of RailBeeps, a site for checking PNR status for IRCTC, train status, and check for trains running between stations.
Two quarters ago, the company said that it was doing 120 million unique visitors, and over a billion pageviews per month. Thus the number of pageviews should have grown since.
Expenses for the digital business were Rs 22 crores, significantly lower than the Rs 25 crores reported last quarter, albeit a bit higher than the Rs 22 crores reported last year.
There’s also no news on the financial performance of its gadgets vertical Gadgets360, which it had said had broken even at an operational level two quarters ago quarter. The quarter prior to that, NDTV had said that Gadgets360 had reported a Profit After Tax of Rs 73 lakh, with 35 million monthly unique visitors. Gadgets360 claims to be double of its nearest Indian competitor, and the 11th largest tech site in the world, although the press release doesn’t mention the source of this claim.
That NDTV is choosing to focus on its digital business is somewhat indicative of how badly its TV business is doing for now: The Group’s TV and allied businesses reported losses of Rs 22 crores on revenues of Rs 74 Crores. Revenues were down from Rs 97 crores last year, while losses were higher than the Rs 15 crores reported last year.
An important data point: NDTV says that its video views across platforms have crossed 100 million views per month.
E-commerce losses continue
NDTV’s E-commerce wing continued to make losses. It reported revenues of Rs 4 crores, up from Rs 3 crores last year, and losses of Rs 1 crores (post-tax). Last year, for the same quarter, the segment had reported losses of Rs 4 crores.
Important: While the press release claims the above revenues and loss for e-commerce, the financials filed suggest that Retail/e-commerce revenues for NDTV were Rs 3.5 crores, up from Rs 3.18 crores for the quarter, and Segment Results (Profit/Loss before tax, interest and exceptional items) indicated a loss of Rs 8.93 crores, down from Rs 9.66 crore for the segment.
The company had signed a deal to sell Indianroots to Nameh Hotels.
NDTV says that its “website on cars and bikes”, referring to CarAndBike.com, now has over 10 million unique visitors. Note that Autobyte is picking up controlling stake in CarAndBike.com
Download: Financials and Press Note
Corrigendum: An earlier version of the story carried an incorrect headline. This version carries the correction. The error is regretted.