Recovery seen albeit still below pre-pandemic levels
News: DB Corp revenues witnessed a healthy growth of 4.7% QoQ to Rs 494 core, with Print & digital ad revenue at Rs 283 crore, up 8% QoQ (but still ~25% below precovid levels) while radio ad revenue also registered growth of 6% QoQ at Rs 32 crore. Circulation revenue was up 4.5% YoY to Rs 115.6 crore. EBITDA was 17% QoQ to Rs 68.5 crore while margins at 13.9% were up 150 bps QoQ. The higher newsprint prices led to higher newsprint expenses by 28% YoY despite controlled pagination and was offset by lower other expenses. Reported PAT was at Rs 31.8 crore, was up 30% QoQ.
Views: Notwithstanding strong QoQ/YoY growth (YoY growth was on depressed base of covid second wave), we note that EBITDA and PAT remain 61% and 66% below pre-covid numbers. The impact of rising newsprint prices, for next few quarter, remains a key concern. The growth trajectory of print ad post normalisation does not have the visibility along with challenges in government ad for the company.