CRISIL – Indian print media revenue to grow 20% in FY 22-23

Profitability of print media impacted by higher raw material prices

Indian news media in print| print media
Indian print news media in recovery mode

The financial press has reported that a recent CRISIL Rating report expects the Indian print media’s topline to bounce back in the next financial year by about 20% despite challenges such as high newsprint prices. The report is clear that this growth is likely to be on the low base of the 2021-2022 financial year.

It expects both circulation and advertising revenues to recover to approximately Rs. 27,000 in FY 2022-23, from the dismal Rs 18,600 crore in FY 2021-22. Moreover, the industry is not likely to reach its pre-pandemic high of Rs 32,000 crore for several years.

With the Indian economy recovering, ad revenues for print media are expected to increase by about 25% over the previous year. The report says that subscription revenues are likely to come back by 30% but that there is some long-term erosion of customers shifting to digital media.

Profitability is forecast to be impacted by 300 to 350 basis points (3 to 3.5%) by the high newsprint prices that other sources tell us are currently prevailing in the US$ 1,000 to US$ 1,200 range. According to the analysis of print media companies rated by CRISIL, the higher newsprint prices take away as much as 40% of the sector’s revenues although they represent about 30 to 35% of its costs. The operating margin of print media companies is projected to be 6 to 6.5% in FY 2022-23, in comparison to the previous financial year’s margins of 9 to 9.5% according to the research.

Possible challenges include a continued rise in raw material prices instead of a leveling-off after a couple of quarters or other unforeseen global events. CRISIL expects smaller media organizations to be more vulnerable because of the rising raw material prices. It said, “While the credit risk profiles of large print media companies will be cushioned by healthy liquidity and strong balance sheets – most of them are net debt-free – liquidity management will be crucial for the smaller ones because of the rise in newsprint prices, as their interest cover is estimated to be 2 to 2.5 times as on 31 March 2022.”

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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