DB Corp Q3 results – 156.8% YOY jump in print profits

Q3 FY2024 – Revenues up 15.5% to Rs 6,648 million in Q3 FY2024

According to the company, happy days are back for the print business

Riding on the back of cost-control measures and softening newsprint prices, DB Corp Limited (DBCL), home to flagship newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Divya Marathi and Saurashtra Samachar, reported a 156.8% YOY growth in net profit to Rs 1,240 million in Q3 FY2024 as against Rs 483 million Q3 FY2023.

Revenues rose by 15.5% to Rs 6,648 million in Q3 FY2024 as against Rs 5,756 million for the same quarter in the previous fiscal, the company announced in its financial results for the quarter (Q3) and nine months ending December 31, 2023.

Advertising revenue grew by 18.4% to Rs 4,819 million in Q3 FY2024 as against Rs 4,069 million in Q3 FY2023 whereas circulation revenue was up 3.4% to Rs 1,200 million as against Rs 1,161 million. YOY. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDTA) grew by 101.7% to Rs. 2,031 million as against Rs 1,007 million aided by stringent cost-control measures and softening newsprint prices. EBIDTA margin expanded by 1400 basis points to 31% from 17% last year.

Commenting on the performance for Q3 FY2024, Sudhir Agarwal, managing director, DB Corp, said, “Dainik Bhaskar’s leadership position in the print media Sector is exemplified by a track record of strong growth outperformance for nearly 10 quarters now, making it the torchbearer of growth for the sector. We are encouraged by our readers, advertisers, and our partners who continue to repose trust in us and use our platforms of print, digital and radio to amplify their messaging.

With a slew of positive events – elections in our key markets, the cricket world cup, general economic buoyancy in our markets and the festive season, our performance in Q3 FY2024 is a testament to all the efforts that we continue to put to deliver the best product, and with an omni-channel delivery mechanism working well, we believe that we should be able to extend our leadership position and fortify our financial position going ahead.”

Total revenue for the nine months of FY 2024 grew by around 13.3% to Rs 18,403 million as against Rs 16,236 million in the same period in FY 2023. Net profit grew by 136.6% YOY to Rs 3,030 million in the nine months of FY 2024 as against Rs 1,281 million in FY 2023.

According to the company, happy days are back for the print business as print media’s dominance in the news landscape has been demonstrated with consistent growth for advertisers for amplifying their messaging.

Our mantra of ‘We Grow when our Advertisers Grow’ has helped us in creating a virtuous cycle. The quarter gone by also saw a fillip due to overall festival days and also due to economic buoyancy in our key states due to the election faze. Dainik Bhaskar’s powerful brand equity as India’s #1 Newspaper Group is reflected in the impressive portfolio of advertisers that continue to repose their trust and increase their advertising spends every quarter.”

Newsprint prices’ southward journey, the company said, continued in Q3 FY2024. Based on its assessment, DB Corp expects newsprint purchase prices to further soften in the next few quarters. “Our average cost for newsprint has reduced from the high of Rs 63,500 PMT in Q2 FY2023 to around Rs 51,500 PMT in Q2 FY2024 and now to Rs 50200 PMT in Q3 FY2024, resulting in newsprint cost reduction of 18.3% YoY. Newsprint prices are expected to soften further in ensuing quarters.”

On the advertising front, the auto sector saw further traction, with traditional advertisers such as education, real estate, government, jewelry, health, etc., continuing to use print as their preferred medium, the company said.

To boost the circulation front, DB Corp’s teams continued to focus on ensuring that the page-heavy ad-laden copies reached its readers on time, daily. “Our teams continue their focus on activating our distribution lists of old readers, while continuing our initiatives on retention, renewals and expansion of our reader base. We work with our partners to help improve their efficiency, for instance, we continue to push UPI payments by our readers to help our network partners.”

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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