Dish TV revenues rise 48% on healthy subscriptions, Arpus

Dish TV, India’s leading direct-to-home (DTH) broadcaster, on Wednesday posted a 48% rise in its July-September quarter revenues at Rs482.2 crore as against Rs326.1 crore in the year-ago period as subscriptions grew and Arpus, or average revenue per user, stayed healthy.

Subscription revenues during the second quarter rose 53% year on year to Rs412.4 crore.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), or operating profit, for July-September rose 142% at Rs121.8 crore as compared to Rs50.3 crore a year ago.

Ebitda margin stood at 25.3%. However, the company posted a net loss at Rs48.6 crore owing to a foreign exchange hit of Rs30.4 crore in the second quarter.

Subhash Chandra, chairman, Dish TV, said, with a threat of another economic slowdown, consumer activity in India has slowed down in comparison to the healthy pace it had maintained all this while.

“Despite being fairly insulated, being the bread and butter of entertainment, DTH as a category was impacted by consumers’ inertia to pay for discretionary spends. While the industry recorded lower acquisitions, both on sequential and yearly basis, in the second quarter, Dish TV managed to efficiently maintain its leadership while reporting a steady increase in operating margins for the sixth consecutive quarter,” said Chandra.

With the recent digitisation mandate spelling a huge opportunity for DTH, the Dish TV management feels its strong brand presence and service back-up will help it garner additional market share. While it currently enjoys a market share of 24%, the company is optimistic of achieving around 26% by the end of this fiscal.

Jawahar Goel, managing director, Dish TV, said, “We have been the frontrunner of the Indian DTH industry since inception and have time and again demonstrated agility to adapt to a changing business environment. As challenging macroeconomic conditions prevail, we believe Dish TV remains well placed to capitalise on any resultant opportunity.”

Goel said in line with expectations, the company moved closer to attaining bottomline profitability, but for the loss due to forex fluctuations.

Key operating metrics continued to be favourable, with Arpus improving in a seasonally weak quarter.

“The Arpu for high definition (HD) subscribers of Rs454 points to a window of opportunity to scale up overall Arpus going forward. Currently, HD contributes 4-5% to the overall subscriber addition every month and the number is growing steadily,” he said.

To drive mid-level subscribers to the next level, Dish TV recently introduced an all new World Pack at Rs275 a month.

Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV, said, “While existing HD packs, Premier at Rs450 and HD Royale at Rs550, target the top of the HD pyramid, the new offer is designed to attract entry-level HD subscribers from the vast pool of such urban markets.”