On 12th April 2017 my father and our Company's Chairman left for his heavenly abode.He will remain with us forever as a formidable force guiding us to greater achievements.He was a visionary philanthropist and a leader par excellence. He believed that D. B.Corp Ltd. could be one of the catalysts to drive consumption and growth of India's Tier IIand Tier III cities.
Shri Ramesh Chandra Agarwal will continue to be a source of inspiration for many of us.He believed in dreaming big and had the capability to transform aspirations into reality.Inspired by his philosophy we are India's largest newspaper Group. We remain committed tohis vision with greater focus and fortitude.
It was under his leadership that we had launched our UNMETRO' strategy. Ourobjective was to change the perception of advertisers and the marketing community to seekgrowth opportunities beyond the traditional eight metros.
A key aspect of our business philosophy has always been rooted in the rise of the TierII and Tier III consumer. Our strong market share across many of these cities reflect ourbusiness acumen. Today as these Unmetros' drive India's transformation into one ofthe world's fastest-growing economies our insight stands validated.
The Group's consistent growth has been the outcome of several steps taken in thedirection of providing differentiated offerings across Tier II and Tier III cities. Thesemarkets have gradually developed into pockets of opportunities with an upsurge inconsumption and rising household incomes. The Government's impetus to improveinfrastructure across these emerging cities is giving them the much-needed thrust so thatthey can be Metros' of the future. These cities are now the focal point of India'sgrowth story and are truly the Markets That Matter'.
The EY report India's Growth Paradigm' (March 2017) has identified 42 emergingcities with millions of aspirational consumers. The share of these New Wave' citiestowards India's total household income is expected to rise to 61% by 2020. It furtheremphasises that these markets witness a steady rise in population and per capita income.The GDP growth of these cities will outpace that of the metros'. There are large gapsbetween demand and supply across a range of sectors in these emerging cities. These gapssuggest a significant scope for the India Inc. to reach consumers who remain untapped.
In FY 2016-17 our total revenue rose to Rs. 22750 mn as compared to Rs. 20353 mn inFY 2015-16. Our business strategy was focused on hyper-local offerings to our advertisersin line with market dynamics which was further leveraged through an integrated approachof in-print on-air online and on-ground activities. Despite demonetisation ouradvertising revenues grew by 8% to Rs. 15973 mn in FY 2016-17 as against Rs. 14812 mnduring FY 2015-16. Similarly our circulation revenue grew by 10.5% to Rs. 4814 mn for FY2016-17 compared to Rs. 4356 mn in the previous fiscal. The business saw a staggeringgrowth as our PAT rose by 28.3% to Rs. 3748 mn vis--vis Rs. 2921 mn in FY 2015-16.
I am happy to share that Dainik Bhaskar' our flagship newspaper brand had manywins this year. Our Jaipur edition celebrated its 20th anniversary. Following the Group'sphilosophy to consistently launch relevant offerings we launched Dainik Bhaskar's Suratedition in early 2017. This was a natural extension of our leadership in the region and astrategy to leverage an untapped segment.
We have further amplified our promise to the emerging cities by rolling out 13 newlyacquired stations of 94.3 MY FM. This expands our radio presence across 30 cities in sevenstates.
Around 127 mn Indian internet users are consuming content in regional languages.dainikbhaskar.com' continues to retain the No. 1 position among Hindi News websites.With the launch of our real estate portal homeonline.com our digital business now has 13portals and provides content across varied genres. As per Google Data there has been 94%development rate for Hindi content utilisation. Today Google underpins languages forexample - Hindi Gujarati Marathi Bengali and Tamil among others.
We launched digital tools like Matrix workflow in mobile using Google Speech API. Thishas enabled our reporting personnel to file stories using their speech instead of typing.
Our thought leadership is well established. We continued to innovate for readers. Welaunched Swatantra Vichaar' campaign in Maharashtra and Azaad Soch' campaignin Punjab which further strengthened our promise of being an independent newspaper. Wealso fortified our presence in legacy market of Madhya Pradesh. We partnered manyengagement activities during Simhastha; world's largest congregation held once in 12years.
94.3 MY FM sustained strong listenership base through active audience engagement andbrand promotion activities. Similarly DB Digital is the second-largest Digital Group inIndian infotainment genre (ComScore November 2016) with a landmark reach of 90.1 mnUnique Visitors and 2.8 bn page views (as per Google analytics March 2017).
Going forward we believe that India's M&E industry is poised for strong growthmirroring the overall economy. As per FICCI KPMG M&E Industry Report 2017 theindustry is projected to grow at 14% from 2016 to 2021 with advertising revenue expectedto increase at 15.3% CAGR during the same period.
Our skilled team is our formidable strength. This fiscal we continued to focus ourenergies on building employee engagement initiatives to attract and retain talent. We alsofocused on creating a strong leadership succession plan for our top managerial talent.
The Group strives to meet the needs positively impact and protect the rights of ourdiverse stakeholder fraternity. This includes our employees and the local communitieswhere we operate among many others.
To conclude I would like to thank our Board teams and other stakeholders who empowerus to deliver engaging content for our audiences. This in turn drives our Companytowards long-term growth and success in today's dynamic markets.
We promise to continue to uphold the value system that binds our D. B. Corp Ltd. familytogether. We are committed to lead with relevant and innovative products for India'sgrowing cities while providing healthy returns to our shareholders and advertisers.