Jagran Prakashan group reveals FY 2021 results

In a brutal year for print media, Jagran controls costs to maintain profitability

Jagran Prakashan group reveals FY 2021 results
Leading Indian print news media, the hindi daily Dainik Jagran

Listed on the National Stock Exchange, the Jagran Prakashan group publisher of the leading Hindi daily Dainik Jagran and the Urdu daily Inquilab released its numbers for the financial year ending March 2021. Jagran Prakashan’s consolidated total income from operations in FY21 declined by 38.53% to Rs. 1,289.19 crore in comparison to Rs. 2,097.32 crore in Fy 2020. The group’s net profit after tax declined by 69.44% to Rs 84.72 crore in FY 20-21 from its net profit of Rs 277.18 crore in FY 2019-20. (From the extract published as a display ad in The Business Standard of 29 May 2021)

Nevertheless, Jagran reported a marked improvement in its consolidated net profits at Rs 39.90 crore for FY 2021 Q4 compared to the previous year’s January to March quarter (Rs 5.72 crore). For Q4 of FY 2021, the total income declined by only 8.8% to Rs 406.37 crore from Rs 445.56 crore in Q4 of FY 2020. This can be seen as evidence of the economic recovery before the second wave of the pandemic hit the economy and advertising revenues. Moreover, in the recent FY 2020 Q4, expenses were 18.1% lower at Rs. 357.57 crore compared to expenses of 436.56 crore in last quarter of FY 2020. 

From the numbers reported, employee costs have not been slashed by the group while they have declined by 10.94% to Rs. 371.46 in FY 21 from 417.09 in FY 20 and the Rs. 419.23 in FY 2019. The Jagran group’s reserves, however, went back up during the year to Rs. 1.939.67 crore, almost reaching the levels of FY 2018 when it reported reserves at Rs. 1,967.94 crore. 

The figures that we find most interesting are of raw material consumption since that is a way to gauge a composite of total circulation and pagination in the year and a good indicator of newsprint consumption and offset plates, blankets, inks, and chemicals. The raw material consumption of the group in FY 21 was Rs 305.37 crore in comparison to Rs. 600.92 crore in FY 2020 and Rs 730.10 in FY2019.

March 2021March 2020March 2019March 2018March 2017
Income from operations in Rs crore1289.192097.322362.652303.982282.95
Consumption of raw materials305.37600.92730.10664.08652.44
Employees cost371.46417.09419.23400.31373.99
Source: Moneycontrol.com

Jagran Prakashan’s chairman and managing director, Mahendra Mohan Gupta, said, “While commenting on the results for Q3FY21, I was quite hopeful that the pandemic was nearing the end, at least in India. The second wave and its intensity, in particular, shook all of us, impacting businesses once again in an unprecedented manner and pushing large numbers of people to below the poverty line.” 

Speaking about the coming year, Gupta remained optimistic, “I am confident that FY22 is going to be better than FY21, which was satisfactory in the light of extended lockdowns which were not envisaged at the beginning of FY21.”

The company has also announced a share buyback of Rs 118 crore at Rs 60 a share. The company’s current market cap is Rs 1516.74 at Rs 57.45 per share, each with a face value of Rs 2. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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