Music Broadcast, part of Jagran Group, which came out with its initial public offering (IPO) early this year, posted a 20% increase in its operating revenues at Rs 271.4 crore for the year ended March 2017. Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at Rs 91.3 crore in 2016-17, thus recording a 17% jump compared to Rs 78.1 crore in the same period last year. Apurva Purohit, president, Jagran Prakashan and director, Music Broadcast shared the company’s plans in an interview with Anushree Bhattacharyya. Excerpts:
Of the total proceed raised from IPO, how much has been used to clear Radio City’s Rs 300 crore debt?
The gross proceed we raised from the fresh issue was Rs 400 crore. We had Rs 300 crores of debt, of which we have paid `150 crore and the next tranches are due between March 18 – March 20.
In FY2016-2017, Radio City posted a 33% increase in PAT at Rs 36.7 crore from Rs 27.6 crore in FY2015-2016. What has worked in your favour?
We have been very selective about the markets. As the top 40 cities still contribute 70% of the advertising revenue, we restricted our presence to 39 cities. This allowed us to charge a premium in advertising rates. In the radio business, advertisers largely look at two factors. The first one being how efficient is the cost of reaching each audience rating point (CPT) besides the ratings of the radio station. With us maintaining the number one position in the markets we operate in, the CPT has been healthy resulting in advertisers investing in the platform.
How has Radio City, manage to sustain EBITDA margin at 34% in FY17 despite investments in the 11 new stations?
In the last three- four years our EBITDA margin has grown to 34% from 20%. In fact some of our big markets are delivering as much as 40% EBITDA margin. And I believe there is still room for the margins to go up further. What has worked in our favour is the fact that we have a strong listenership base. Radio City reaches over 52.5 million listeners in 23 cities covered by AZ Research. Secondly our right set of network has allowed us to charge a higher ad rate compared to rest of the players. Moreover even this year, we plan to increase our ad rates by 8-10%. Finally, with capital expenditure being as less as Rs 5-6 crore a year, EBITDA margin and PAT will improve and increase with time.
You had earlier said that after the lock-in period gets over in March 2018, Radio City would look at inorganic growth. Which are cities you plan to acquire local stations?
We will continue to focus at the top end of the market, where we can play a premium game. Yes, there are three-four markets including Kolkata which are missing in our portfolio of stations. We have already begun scouting for local stations in those cities.