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Zee reports 21.6% increase in yearly profit

Indian media group Zee Entertainment has posted a 21.6% rise in net profit to INR7.182 billion for the financial year (FY) ended 31 March 2013 compared to INR5.91 billion in FY2012.

Operating revenues rose 11% to INR9.643 billion for the quarter ending in March, from INR8.69 billion in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012. Advertising revenues also increased by 15.5% to INR4.792 billion in Q4 2013, compared with INR4.15 billion in the corresponding period in 2012.

Zee's subscription revenues increased 13% (INR4.245 billion) from INR4.021 billion in Q4 2012 – a rise the company attributes to the spread of digitisation in India and MediaPro, its distribution joint venture with Star India.

The Zee TV network of 32 channels now commands over 670 million viewers around the globe, with operations in 169 countries and 100,000 hours of programming.

"FY 2013 was a defining year for the media sector in many ways. The biggest transformation was the implementation of DAS in 42 cities nationally. There were 33 million DTH [direct-to-home] subscribers and 16 digital cable TV homes as fiscal 2013 ended as against 29 million DTH and four million DAS [digital addressable systems] homes in the previous year. We believe we can continue to return meaningful amount of capital even as we strengthen our business and invest in the growth of our businesses. We will continue to pursue growth opportunities which would enhance long term shareholder value," said Subhash Chandra, chairman, Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL).

Punit Goenka, managing director, ZEEL, added: "DAS phase 2 has been implemented across the country. Industry ARPUs on DTH seem to be growing with exciting consumer offers being provided by operators on premium channel subscriptions.

"We believe similar effort by digital cable operators will ensure a robust growth of the industry for all stakeholders. The improving economic outlook augurs well for the media and entertainment sector. We are hopeful that a steady growth in ratings will help Zee deliver better performance in the coming quarters. Our content focus approach combined with better monetisation of subscription revenues, especially from digital markets, will contribute to the company delivering steady and sustainable returns in the year ahead."

Total expenses for ZEEL rose by just 2.2% over the previous corresponding quarter in 2012, and as a result EBITDA escalated 51% to INR2.423 billion from INR1.6 billion in Q4 2012.

Zee Enterprises' total income (from advertising sales and subscription revenues) for the year to 31 March 2013 registered grew to INR36.6957 billion, up by 19.7% from the previous year's INR30.4056 billion.

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