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Leap in Q4 revenues for India’s Network18

India's Network18 Group, which includes the TV18 news and entertainment network and Viacom18 channel Colors, has reported a 63% leap in consolidated revenues of INR 659.5 crore for the fourth quarter, ending 31 March.

The TV18 division grew 16% on the corresponding quarter last year with revenues of INR 348.7 crore, in spite of the current challenges in the Indian advertising market.

Operating profits from Network18's television business registered INR8.2 crore in the fourth quarter, excluding one time expenses, and revenues and losses associated with new launches and closed operations, such as a proposed Hindi movie channel. During the financial year, the group launched five TV channels in the Indian market: History TV18, Comedy Central, Sonic, Colors HD and CNBC TV18 Prime HD.

TV subscription revenues stood at INR 189.9 crore for the year; a rise of 50% on the year before.

Network18's digital content and e-commerce activities also generated INR 67.1 crore in the fourth quarter FY12 – growing 37% over the same quarter last year.

"FY12 was a truly transformational year for Network18. Against the backdrop of challenging macroeconomic headwinds, we consolidated, grew and invested in our core businesses," said Raghav Bahl, managing director, Network18.

"We announced the proposed strategic stake acquisition in ETV and a plan to induct significant equity in the group. These plans when consummated (subject to regulatory approvals) will catapult us into the forefront of the Indian media industry with a debt free balance sheet and a fully built out television and digital footprint. Given the regulatory push for digitisation and our transformed group structure, FY13 promises to be an exciting year for us at Network18."

Sai Kumar, group chief executive, Network18 added: "In the year gone by, we invested in scaling our e-commerce businesses and in expanding our television channels bouquet. Our bouquet straddling news and entertainment across national and regional geographies is a compelling offering and is suitably placed to make the most of the upcoming digitised environment.

"Our subscription revenues have grown substantially over last year and we see this trend continuing as our revamped distribution organisation is now supported by a positive regulatory environment. Going forward, we expect medium term softness on the advertising front, but are confident of delivering a strong operating performance."

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