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Zeel Q3 net up 74% amid market slowdown
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Zeel Q3 net up 74% amid market slowdown - 20-January-2010, 16:47

MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) has beaten market forecasts to report a 74 per cent growth in third-quarter consolidated net profit, but revenue is yet to recover from the 'market' weakness.
As reported first in, the company is gobbling up Taj Television for $44.145 million. Zeel will acquire fresh 45 per cent stake in Taj TV Limited Mauritius, which operates Ten Sports, to take its total holding to 95 per cent while Bukhatir Group will keep the other five per cent. An additional 50 per cent acquisition in Taj Television (India) will mean that Zeel will own 100 per cent in the Indian subsidiary.
For the three-month period to December, Zeel's net profit surged to Rs 1.46 billion, up from Rs 840 million a year ago, mainly due to a tax write back of Rs 313 million.
Operating profit was at Rs 1.57 billion, an increase of 31 per cent, while margins stood at 29.6 per cent.
Revenue, though, fell three per cent to Rs 5.31 billion from Rs 5.46 billion a year ago.
Advertising revenue at Rs 2.71 billion rose one per cent over the earlier year on a consolidated basis and nine per cent without the sports business.
"There is a pick up in the market. After de-growing 29 per cent year-on-year for the last three quarters, Zeel is seeing a marginal jump in ad revenues," says Zeel EVP corporate strategy & business development Atul Das.
Total subscription revenue for the quarter was Rs 2.47 billion, an increase of 8 per cent over the year-ago period. Domestic subscription stood at Rs 1.45 billion while international subscription made Rs 1.01 billion.
"Subscription revenue from international operations fell by 12 per cent over the earlier year. This is due to two reasons: currency and churn. We are seeing a weakness in the European market," says Das.
Revenue from domestic DTH operators, part of domestic subscription, stood at Rs 632 million (including a non recurring amount of Rs 49.8 million) as against Rs 514 million in the second quarter of this fiscal.
"Subscription revenue from domestic cable dropped three per cent over the earlier year. DTH, though, is growing at a fast pace. We have a base of nine million at this stage," says Das.
Revenue from the sports business stood at Rs Rs 604 million, while costs incurred during this quarter was at Rs 880 million.
Programming and operating cost stood at Rs 2.31 billion compared to Rs 2.68 billion, or a 14 per cent fall, a year ago (refer table).
The published numbers are after consolidating the financials of Taj TV, ETC Networks and Zee Turner.
Zeel will benefit in the fiscal's fourth-quarter as it consolidates the financials of its six regional entertainment channels.
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