HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Hindustan Times, said on Tuesday that its net profit rose 12 per cent year on year to Rs 34.2 crore in the first quarter ended June as media advertisement revenues rose 20 per cent to Rs 235 crore.
Performance outlook was strong as the company combined cost rationalisation while eyeing a strong improvement from its business daily, Mint, and Fever 104 radio station.
"Our business performance has been encouraging, " Vice-Chairperson Shobhana Bhartia said in a statement after the company reported revenues of Rs 273.3 crore in the first quarter, up 14 per cent on the year. Earnings before interest, depreciation, taxation and amortisation (EBIDTA) rose by 9 per cent to Rs 65.9 crore, up from Rs 60.6 crore a year ago.
"The core operations showed significant improvement in the profitability margins and the Hindi segment is especially gaining significant traction both in readership and advertising," Mrs Bhartia said. She said capabilities, brand and consumer relationships would help the company reap further growth.
HT Media Ltd publishes the Hindustan daily in Hindi and a clutch of Hindi magazines that cater to a vast market across northern India. The company's English daily was restaged last January in Mumbai, a tough but lucrative market that the paper is trying to crack systematically.
The company said the paper continued to gain momentum and market share in Mumbai.
Mint has become the number two business paper in the country, within months of its launch in collaboration with the Wall Street Journal.
FM 104 was launched in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore last year and is gaining traction in its targeted audience.
"Advertising revenue momentum is expected to become healthy in the third quarter and gain traction during the fourth quarter of the year," said the statement. It said it also eyed expansion in Hindustan daily while its radio brand was building its listenership and awareness.
"Backed by the successful relaunch of Hindustantimes.com in Q1 the company is in the process of introducing new websites and portals," the statement said.
The company said it had formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Medialab Web Solutions Ltd, during the quarter and also invested Rs 12.5 crore in preference shares of its subsidiary, HT Music and Entertainment Co Ltd.