HT Media launched its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2023. The total revenue for the quarter came at Rs 486 crore. The EBITDA gives a flat number of Rs 29 crore versus the same period last year with margins at 6 per cent. The profit before tax came in at a loss of Rs 22 crore, which is an improvement of Rs 8 crores versus the same period last year.
Advertisement spends during the festive were muted as compared to the previous year and to the expectations. EBITDA continues to improve given softening of newsprint rates and despite higher investment in the new business, which is OTTplay, according to the publication’s management.
Chairman of HT Media Group said, '’The third quarter of the current fiscal year saw the festive season across the country, the Cricket World Cup, and also assembly elections in several states. As a result, overall business sentiment remained upbeat, supported by a moderating trend in general inflation and continuing rationalisation in the prices of key commodities.”
“On the back of stronger advertising revenues, our print business posted a sequential growth while the margins improved on both y-o-y and q-o-q, with newsprint prices normalising further. Radio saw better traction in the FCT segment which resulted in sequential revenue and margin improvement. The Digital business reported strong revenue growth, although investments in new business impact that vertical's margins,” he added.
In terms of print performance, revenue was flat for HT Media at Rs 283 crores and a 16 per cent growth sequentially over the prior quarter. Their circulation revenue, however, saw a marginal decline of two per cent, which is predicated on the number of copies, the RPC still remains strong. Operating revenues, therefore, came at Rs 363 crore, which is down two percent versus the prior quarter, they are up 12 per cent versus Q2 which was at Rs 324 crores. Operating EBITDA came to Rs 26 crore against negative Rs four crores last year with margins at seven per cent.
Radio has been a bit of a challenge for the publication. “Radio revenue has not come up to speed as much as we would have liked to,” they said.
With the national elections around the corner and the infra push, HT Media is confident that consumer spending will pick up, and are hopeful of capitalising on the same.