We are happy to share with you our Annual Report for FY 2019-20.
HT Media Group has always been about empowering and enriching people by providing themcredible accurate independent and timely news and information. This means ourresponsibilities become all the more important during times of crisis such as the onethat we are witnessing now with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and acrossthe world. I want to assure you that in these testing times we remain as committed ifnot even more to our mission.
Looking back at the year HT Media held its own despite softening economic growth inthe country. Growth was hit by both global and local factors and both cyclical andstructural reasons. As a result both investment and consumption suffered. According tothe government India's GDP is estimated to have grown 4.2% in FY 2019-20 compared to6.1% the previous fiscal. The Media & Entertainment industry was impacted by theeconomic slowdown with advertisers exercising prudence when it came to advertisingbudgets. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic further intensified the challenges faced bythe economy during the last quarter for FY 2019-20.
Overall revenues declined for the group in FY 2019-20 given the subdued advertisingenvironment. Throughout the year we adapted our plans and focused on factors within ourcontrol to offset the decline in advertising revenue. Hence despite the pressure onrevenue earnings grew sharply. The strength of our balance sheet and our comfortableliquidity position held us in good stead in these unprecedented times enabling us tomaintain smooth functioning of operations. Our treasury operations performed exceedinglywell in the year despite a volatile market and without any credit linked incidents. Wecontinue to be extremely prudent on cash utilisation. We are focussed on investing in neworganic and inorganic initiatives to create businesses of the future for the Group but wewill do this in a measured manner.
Despite the current economic scenario we have resiliently moved forward in the pursuitof excellence. Newer technologies shifting consumer preferences and a competitivebusiness environment are bringing about changes which are reshaping the media landscape.As a result we continue to focus on customer reach and engagement leveraging technologyand adopting prudent pricing mechanisms to drive value. We are also very conscious that weneed to keep innovating when it comes to providing solutions to our advertisers.
In print segment we cater to a large audience with our diverse portfolio of Englishand Hindi newspapers. Hindustan Times our English daily continues to enjoy a prominentposition in the market along with our Hindi daily Hindustan. This has been demonstratedwith the IRS Q4 2019 results. For our business readers we have consistently deliveredmeaningful news and insights through our business daily Mint.
During the year under review we retained our premium positioning in key markets. Ourpublications continued to be among the top newspapers in their key markets collectivelyreaching 5.63 crore readers in India on the basis of Total Readership (TR) as per the IRSQ4 2019 survey. All our publications continue to offer a compelling proposition foradvertisers owing to our extensive reach and a large reader base.
Fiscal 2019-20 was a landmark year for our radio business as we added Radio One'to our portfolio through the acquisition of Next Mediaworks.
This has enabled us to build a robust portfolio of radio stations in the top cities ofthe country. The company now has 22 stations and a national footprint covering 15 cities.We have strengthened our presence in this segment with an excellent combination of Radiobrands Fever Nasha and Radio One. As per RAM ratings for Q4 FY 2019-20 Fever FMis the No. 1 station in Delhi Mumbai and Bengaluru
(non-Kannada) while Radio Nasha continues to be the No. 1 retro station in Delhi.
The secret to our success lies in the hard work and dedication of each and every memberof the HT Media family. I am proud of our passionate team that is always ready to learnnew skills and pursue emerging opportunities. The commitment of our employees during thisperiod exhibits their strong sense of duty towards the nation especially in the face ofunprecedented challenges. We have heightened efforts to ensure safety and well-being ofour employees. We have built an inclusive culture with a diverse workforce and haveundertaken various initiatives to increase engagement with our employees to help themstrike a work-life balance and have provided them opportunities to grow and emerge asleaders of tomorrow.
We continue to be hopeful of the future once the impact of pandemic subsides. Weremain absolutely prepared to rise to the challenges we face and capitalize onopportunities to add value to our offerings. We will continue to uphold our principles ofintegrity objectivity and fairness and produce contemporary newspapers true to thevalues of good journalism.
I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every employee of HT Media for theirhard work and dedication. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Board ofDirectors investors shareholders customers and readers for their continued trust in us.
Chairperson and Editorial Director