DB Corp reports Rs 22,363-million revenue for FY2020

DB Corp (DBCL), India’s largest print media company and home to flagship newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Divya Marathi and Saurashtra Samachar, on 23 June announced its financial results for the quarter and full year ended 31 March 2020.

24 Jun 2020 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

The circulation revenue stood at Rs 5,122-million as against Rs 5,237-million in FY2019

In consolidated performance highlights for FY2020, PAT reported a growth of 0.4% YOY to Rs 2,750-million (margin of 12.3%) as against Rs 2,738-million (margin of 11%), after considering forex loss of Rs 116-million. EBIDTA came in at Rs 4,940-million (margin of 22%) as against Rs 5,209-million (margin of 21%), after considering forex loss of Rs 86-million. The operating profit margin expansion has been aided by softened newsprint prices at Rs 38,840 PMT in FY2020, down 11% YOY. The other cost efficiency measures are continuing to yield results.

The circulation revenue stood at Rs 5,122-million as against Rs 5,237-million in FY2019. Advertising revenue stood at Rs 15,640-million as against Rs 17,625-million in FY2019. Total Revenue came in at Rs 22,363-million as against Rs 24,794 million in FY2019.

Sudhir Agarwal, managing director, DB Corp, said, “The fiscal 2020 was unprecedented in many aspects with the industry facing headwinds on the back of weak consumer demand followed by the Covid-19 pandemic which caused further challenges. The nation-wide lockdown led by the outbreak of Covid-19, caused an immediate disruption to businesses, impacting revenues towards the end of Q4FY20 and continuing in Q1FY21. However, the group’s hard work over the years has ensured that our financial and market position remain strong to withstand such challenging times.”

He added that while revenue growth in the recent quarters has been muted, the company’s relentless cost optimisation drive, coupled with soft raw material prices, helped in protecting bottom line. “Going forward, as we expect opening of the economy over the coming weeks, we remain optimistic of an up-tick in advertising spends by companies looking to woo the consumers back, especially for our key markets which represents the non-metros, semi-urban and rural tier-II, tier-III and tier-IV where economic activity is expected to resume sooner,” Agarwal added.

Notwithstanding the challenging business environment, Dainik Bhaskar has demonstrated remarkable resilience by consistently yielding results on the back of its reader-centric approach for

product enrichment and a well implemented circulation expansion strategy. The unprecedented situation of a nation-wide lockdown had an immediate but short-lived impact on circulation. The wide distribution network and reach built by Dainik Bhaskar over the years aided in bringing back the circulation to near normalcy levels. Further, the ability to maintain the cover price in a reduced pagination scenario helped in reducing the per copy loss during this challenging period.

With regards to advertising revenue, Dainik Bhaskar’s approach of handholding clients in the short-run has yielded results. While April witnessed only a few ads for those in essential products, there has been some pick-up from May onwards from sectors like government, education, automobiles, consumer durables and FMCG.

As per recent IRS 2019 Q4 survey, Dainik Bhaskar Group has become the largest newspaper

group of India (excluding financial dailies). The flagship brand ‘Dainik Bhaskar’ continues to be the No 1 newspaper of NCCS A and NCCS AB segments of urban India with a widening lead. In Rajasthan, Dainik Bhaskar has become the No 1 newspaper in average issue readership (AIR) and total readership (TR). In Gujarat, Divya Bhaskar has become the No 1 newspaper in major four cities. In Bihar, Dainik Bhaskar further strengthened its readership base to 67.06 lakh readers and with a moving average method of readership calculation, the relative position is likely to be improved with every passing quarters.