Trust underpins our business continuity
We have never been in such uncertain times for as long as I canremember. However as a Group we acted with speed to sense the pandemic's impactwhich helped us in timely initiation of actions.
I am happy to share with you the Group's performance for FY2019-20.
As we all know these are testing times when societies economies andbusinesses are navigating through an unprecedented health as well as economic crisis.Although the impact of the pandemic was only for part of the year under report it wasenough to worsen the performance which till then had already become victim of economicslowdown. However your Company showed resilience and contained the damage.
Despite this never-seen-before scenario our endeavour was toanticipate the risks likely to be faced in maintaining the continuity of the business inan uncertain environment and manage them to the best of our ability. Accordingly theGroup was prompt to arrange additional liquidity cut/defer avoidable costs ensuredelivery of products and services and generate revenues even during lockdowns within thegiven constraints. This was made possible by the entire team which displayed the exemplarycourage determination and commitment.
In consequence continuity of the business is assured with sufficientliquidity and better visibility of profits in place. In crisis situation everyone looksfor credible information to allay concerns and fears. I am pleased to share that newspaperas well as radio both are preferred choices over other mediums during pandemic.
FY 2019-20 saw deepening slowdown in the economy followed by theoutbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the most stringent lockdown of the world inthe last quarter of the financial year. The lockdown impacted the economy butuncertainties around the local lockdowns are proving to be still more difficult to copewith.
The businesses particularly those small in size with limited resourcesare confronted with the challenges of survival. Media and entertainment industry whichthrives on financial wellness of all segments of the economy is obviously hard hit andwill struggle for revenue for some quarters. The industry is also suffering due to lowergovernment spend on advertisement coupled with undue delays in payments. However this hasgiven us opportunity to relook at our business model and work upon making it more robustso that it withstands shocks more efficiently.
In our print business Dainik Jagran helped by its scale and reach andsaving in newsprint cost was the best placed among all the Group's businesses.Printing of newspaper and delivery continued across the country wherever possibledespite the lockdown. Strategic increase in cover price compensated some of the revenuede-growth. Moreover efficient cost management coupled with lower news print prices werekey in containing the drop in profits.
I am pleased with the results of the latest readership survey whichonce again confirms the fact that Dainik Jagran continues to be the No. 1 newspaper in thecountry since 2003 uninterruptedly. Contrary to the common perception the survey showsthat English readership has once again grown and print media continues to be one of thedominant segments of media.
It also gives me pleasure that the newspaper as medium of news hasemerged stronger from the current crisis due to its credible content at a time wheneveryone seeks to get the correct information. Our editorial team and newspaperdistributors deserve special appreciation for doing their jobs diligently despite thethreat of the pandemic. Their contribution in these testing times is being recognised bysociety and will be remembered long after the crisis is gone.
This pandemic has reinforced the benefit of collaborative approach andhealthy competition much more than ever before and I am happy to inform that all keypublishers are working together to overcome these challenging times. I hope and trust thatthis trend will continue in the interest of all stakeholders.
OPTIMISM IN DIGITAL AND RADIO
Despite challenges digital business reported growth in revenues andthe Group was able to significantly reduce its operating loss to less than Rs 1 Crore inFY 2019-20 from Rs 9 Crores in the previous financial year. This trend
is likely to continue. Concurrently your Company further consolidatedits position among the top 10 news and info publishers in India which will augur well forthe business going forward. Moreover our video content is becoming increasingly popularregistering strong traffic growth.
The Group has strong radio business with decades-rich legacy brandRadio City known for its uniqueness in terms of its content and prudence. Radio businesstoo first suffered due to economic slowdown and then the pandemic. During the pandemicour industry's financial health and performance got further impaired due to steepfall in ad spend by the government on the one hand and no support such as waiver oflicence fees and payment of old dues from them on the other hand although theGroup's radio business continues to have a strong balance sheet with no debt and cashequivalents of Rs 220 Crores.
Radio as medium increased its listenership belying the popular beliefthat it is only a transit medium. The lockdown bolstered radio content consumption takingits reach to 51 Million second only to TV with 56 Million with increase in per dayconsumption by the listeners.
This reaffirms the fact that the conventional media such as TV radioand print continue to hold their audience and increasing consumption of digital media isnot causing any shift as people generally believe.
Outdoor advertising event management and activation businesses havebeen the hardest hit since the lockdown was imposed. However I am confident that as thenation experiences graded exit from the lockdown the pent-up demand in these businesseswill drive growth and margins in the coming quarters. Tier-II and Tier-III cities canthrow up significant opportunities in this segment as the impact in these markets isrelatively lower compared to that of big cities.
DEDICATED TO OUR PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
During the crisis we have taken all relevant steps to ensure thesafety and security of our people. Regular sanitisation of our workplaces and equipmentand maintaining all safety protocols continue to be on the top of our radar. I must thankthe Jagran team and all its associates for rising to the challenge with relentless effortsin this critical hour of need. They went beyond the call of duty to serve society and thenation which I respectfully acknowledge.
As a responsible corporate citizen we will continue to channelise ourresources and energy to discharge our social responsibilities through the Shri PuranChandra Gupta Smarak Trust. We will continue to work on our priorities in the realms ofeducation social awareness environment conservation cleanliness and so on whilesupporting the vulnerable sections of society in the best way we can.
PROGRESSING WITH FOCUS
We have never been in such uncertain times for as long as I canremember. However as a Group we acted with speed to sense the pandemic's impactwhich helped us in timely initiation of actions. These steps included rationalising costand augmenting liquidity for smooth operations. As a result the Group now has adequateliquidity of over Rs 900 Crores.
I assure that regardless of challenges and difficulties we will alwaysremain committed to work in the interests of our employees business partnersshareholders society and other stakeholders and will be agile to capitalise on anyopportunity these bad times may offer.
|Warm regards |
|Dr. Mahendra Mohan Gupta |
|Chairman and Managing Director & |
|Editorial Director |