DB Corp reports better than expected Q2 FY21 performance

DB Corp Limited (DBCL), India’s largest print media company and home to flagship newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Divya Marathi and Saurashtra Samachar, on 21 October announced its financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2020.

02 Nov 2020 | By Rahul Kumar

The Dainik Bhaskar Group has displayed tremendous resilience in ensuring continuity of business and pursuing growth and profitability, even in these uncertain times. Dainik Bhaskar’s core strength, based on adaptive Editorial and Circulation strategies, has not only ensured that the group maintained its leadership position as India’s No 1 Newspaper Group but has also demonstrated its ability to convert adversity into an opportunity.

This multi-pronged approach to combat the on-going pandemic, along with a well-implemented cost optimisation drive, has culminated into overall business operations improving sequentially leading to a better than expected Q2 FY21 top line and bottom line performance.

The print business EBITDA in Q2 FY 21 was Rs 873-million as against Rs 1010-million last year, which translated into an EBITDA margin expansion by 650 basis points at 26.7% from last year EBIDTA margin at 20.3%, underscoring the benefits of the soft newsprint prices and cost-cutting measures. The revenue for Q2 FY21 was Rs 3498-million, which was 34% lower on a yearly basis but registered a growth of 62% compared to the previous quarter.

 The circulation teams’ continued efforts, across all our markets, have yielded results and manifested in a quick turnaround with circulation copies increasing to 78% of the pre-Covid levels (YOY) in

July, 80% in August, 81% by the end of September and currently at 86% at overall level as compared with 66% in the month of April.

On the advertising front, as the unlock measures began to unfold, Dainik Bhaskar was perhaps the only newspaper in the country that published ‘mega’ editions in its major markets like Shimla (144 pages), Indore (128 pages), Bikaner (130 pages), Bhopal (72 pages), Ahmedabad (80 pages), Raipur (80 pages), Ujjain (60 pages), Hoshangabad (60 pages), that have helped advertisers signal their return to the market, and more importantly, their efforts to tap into the pent-up demand in the upcoming festive season. Our advertising revenues, too, are reclaiming pre-Covid levels (YOY) with almost 77% in September on a like to like basis from 19% in the month of April.

Further, it is promising to note the September month’s GST collection, wherein Dainik Bhaskar Group markets registered a growth of 10.3% YOY, significantly higher than the all India growth of 3.9% YOY.