The five Indian newspaper groups listed on the stock market

Three out of five companies demonstrate resilience and strong recovery

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Revenue from operations of 5 listed groups in selected financial year. The figures in the center represent the combined revenue of the five news groups in Rs. Crore. The outer circle represents each groups contribution in percentage to their combined turnover in that year. While the combined revenue for these five listed news groups was the highest in FY 2018-19, their current recovery in FY 2022-23 is still approximately Rs 1,292 crore short of their previous combined highest figure www.ippstar.org

For the five news media groups listed in the Indian stock market, we are able to look at results including the financial year 2022-23 ending 31 March 2023. These groups include DB Corp, Hindustan Media Ventures, HT Media, Jagran Prakashan, and Sandesh. Even though two of these five companies (Hindustan Media Ventures and HT Media) have shown losses for FY 2022-23 and one (HT Media) has incurred losses over the past five financial years, their combined results are better than the overall sample of 35 newspaper groups that includes these five as well. The revenue recovery of these five companies is higher in comparison to our larger sample and the overall industry – again indicating that the recovery is generally stronger amongst the larger newspaper groups.

The other three companies DB Corp, Jagran Media, and Sandesh remained profitable throughout the nine years for which we have assembled the data with EBITDA as a percentage of net sales generally above 22.5% and generally, in most years much higher. DB Corp’s Ebitda to net sales ratio has been lower than 20% in the past two years. The smallest company in this cohort has always maintained an Ebitda to net sales ratio above 31%, which dipped in the two pre-pandemic years FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20 to 27.79% and 24.4% respectively. In the pandemic year FY 2020-21, Sandesh’s Ebitda to net sales ratio was its highest ever at 54.36%, which has subsequently declined to 48.13% and 41.27% in the just-ended financial year. Well-run Indian-language newspapers remain profitable.

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Financial indicators of 5 Indian newspaper groups. Photo IPPStar

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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