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HT Media’s net profit drops by 147% YoY, reports loss of Rs 37 Cr in Q2FY19

HT Media reported a net loss of Rs 37.3 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 (Q2 FY19), from a profit of Rs 12 crore in the last quarter. The company’s net profit reduced by a whopping 408% within a quarter. Net profit reduced by 147% YoY from Rs 78 crore in Q2FY18.

In Q2 FY19, total expenses increased by 18% YoY to Rs 592 crore, as well as up 6% over the last quarter. However, total revenue of the company reduced by 5% YoY, and by 0.5% QoQ. Further, the company net loss was doubled essentially due to a provisional expense of Rs 23 crore made following the Delhi HC judgment in a case between The Hindustan Times Ltd and ex-workers “who were part of the Business transferred to the company under a business purchase agreement dated October 1, 2004.” Had it not been for this expense, the company’s net loss would have been substantially lower at Rs 13.4 crore.

Ad revenue: The ad revenues dipped 8% at Rs 385 crore in Q2 FY19, as compared to Rs 353 crore in the same quarter last fiscal year. Ad revenue was driven by real estate, government and e-commerce in the English division, and by health & fitness, real estate and government in the Hindi division.

Operating revenues for the quarter declined slightly by 2% YoY to Rs 206 crore from Rs 211 crore, and declined 9% QoQ from Rs 227 crore.

Employee benefit expenses: The company’s employee benefit expenses increased by 33% QoQ to Rs 99.3 crore from Rs 74.6 crore, and increased by 13% YoY.

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The company also gained Rs 5.5 crore in taxes from discontinued operations which refer to demerger of the entertainment and digital innovation business of HT Digital Ventures Ltd. The subsidiary included included “Fever Audio Tools, in-store music and advertisements, brand promotion activities, movie entertainment and review website Desimartini, digital repository of copyright images.”

Digital segment

Digital revenues also declined by 35%, at Rs 15.3 crore this quarter from Rs 23.7 crore in the same quarter last year. On a sequential basis, it reduced by 7.7% as the digital revenues in the previous quarter stood at Rs 16.6 crore. The segment posted a loss of Rs 38.2 crore, as compared to a loss of Rs 23.8 crore in Q2 FY18 and a loss of Rs 39.1 crore in Q1 FY19. The segment’s losses increased by 60% YoY.

The job portal Shine, HT Campus and Digital Quotient businesses comes under HT Media as its subsidiaries.

Print segment

Revenue from the print and publishing (of newspapers and periodicals) segment have reduced by 8.8% YoY to Rs 447 crore in this quarter. The print segment contributed 86% of HT Media’s revenue, but also caused a loss of Rs 81 crore to the company. The segment earned a profit of Rs 94 crore the same quarter last year, its net profit fell by 108% and caused a loss of Rs 81 crore to the company.

Note that loss from an “unallocated segment” of Rs 38.2 crore was the largest chunk of a total loss (before tax and finance cost) of Rs 46.4 crore. The company’s loss before tax stood at Rs 49.5 crore, whereas in Q2FY18, the company earned a profit of Rs 99 crore. Net profit (before tax and exceptional items) has fallen by a massive 150% YoY.

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