DB Corp reports 8% ad revenue growth in FY 2016-17

DB Corp (DBCL), the country’s largest print media company and home to flagship newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Dainik Divya Marathi and Saurashtra Samachar, on 18 May announced its financial results for the quarter and year ended 31 March 2017.

24 May 2017 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

During FY 2016-17, the company’s advertising revenues grew by 8% YOY to Rs 15,973 million as against Rs 14,812 million generated during FY16. This is growth in line, considering most of the second half was impacted by the demonetisation decision and resultant impact on consumption breakdown. During the same period, circulation revenue grew by 11% YOY to Rs 4,814 million from Rs 4,356 million reported during FY16.  Total 9% of this growth has come from yield growth, largely from mature markets only.

Meanwhile, the company’s consolidated total revenues grew by 10% YOY to Rs 22,750 million, as against Rs 20,735 million delivered during last year. DBCL EBITDA grew by 18% YOY during FY 2017 to Rs 6,592 million (margins 29%) from Rs 5,590 million (margin 27%). During the same period consolidated PAT grew by 28% to Rs 3,748 million (margin 16.5%) from Rs 2,921 million

(margin 14.1%).

Sudhir Agarwal, managing director, DB Corp, said, “While this fiscal continued to be one that tested our resilience, we are pleased with the final culmination, having achieved some significant operating milestones.”

Reiterating that Dainik Bhaskar is an integral part of its readers’ lives and a window to the external world, Agarwal said the company maintained its focus on editorial strategy on how it can best leverage its largest network of journalists across media and languages platform.

“We launched Dainik Bhaskar in Surat successfully and catered to the city’s non-Gujarati speaking audience from Day One, which is about 50% of city population of 58,00,000. MY FM became the fastest radio company to roll out all 13 newly acquired stations expanding our presence in seven states across 30 cities. Our digital business continues to focus on strengthening viewer engagement reporting significant growth in unique visitors and page views,” Agarwal said.

With India witnessing a strong demographic shift in the rural population over the last few years, Agarwal said the management is evaluating different efficient avenues for distribution of income. Dainik Bhaskar’s Unmetro initiative continues to unearth this potential since consumer groups in these regions have become a significant pool with changing tastes and preferences. At the same time, literacy levels across states have been growing which has continued to initiate new readers.

“It is noteworthy that besides the eight large metros, 42 new and emerging urban clusters have transformed into consumption hubs. This is aligned to Dainik Bhaskar’s Unmetro endeavour which we had already started exploring a few years ago and have expanded our presence to about 50% of these new consumption clusters,” he added.

On an overall basis, Agarwal said, the impact of demonetisation, seem to be easing out on consumption. “The outlook for a normal and healthy monsoon season and the impending GST implementation are positive signals as we progress into a few fiscal,” he said.

Among other noteworthy achievements, during this fiscal, Dainik Bhaskar was awarded ISO-9001:2015 certification for Quality Management Circulation Distribution Systems and is probably the only newspaper organisation in India to receive this certification.