NXTDIGITAL recently announced the results for the year ending 31st March 2020. The company clocked a significant turnaround across all financial and business parameters – driven by the robust performance of its media business through IMCL, its media subsidiary.
On a consolidated basis, revenues grew by 65% over FY19, from ‘704.62cr to ‘1,162.10cr; its Operating EBIDTA grew significantly to ‘218.01cr against a loss of ‘72.61cr in the previous fiscal. NXTDIGITAL also saw an impressive turnaround in its PAT at ‘110.05cr; up from a loss of ‘303.43cr in FY19.
The Board of Directors today recommended a dividend of 50% of the `10 face value of each Equity Share, which works out to Rs. 5 per share.
The main growth driver has been the performance of its media business through IMCL, which is one of India’s premier integrated digital platforms – delivering services over digital cable and satellite as well as broadband.
The media business has now recorded profits consistently for the last four quarters on the back of a robust business performance.
The digital platforms company with a subscriber base of over five million; reaches over 1,500 towns across the country through digital cable and India’s only Headend-In-The-Sky (“HITS”) platform.
The satellite-based HITS technology supports Local Cable Operators (LCOs) and their customers across India, including remote connected regions like Ladakh, Kargil, the far north-east and the Andaman, Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands.
The technology, using C-band is not affected by rain or adverse weather and customers in these areas continue to enjoy digital services, uninterrupted.
The Company has continued to focus on key drivers through FY20. Some of the drivers include…
- Continuing to focus on the fastest growing segments of semi-urban and rural India. Over 60% of the company’s subscriber base is in these markets – which continue to see increasing pay TV penetration as well as growing ARPUs.
- Growing ARPUs through value added services and differentiated products in the cities. Launching innovative products like layering Cable TV with Broadband and Value-Added Services, coupled with 24X7 services on ground.
- Successfully implementing the new regulatory framework, set out by the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) in early 2019. The visionary framework which brought in much needed transparency to the pay TV ecosystem and enhanced subscriber choice has buoyed the business model and set out a clearly defined level playing field for the industry.
- Maintaining pre-paid collections at nearly 100%, whilst ensuring low churn through a focused E&R (engagement & retention) model – for subscribers and franchisees
- Leveraging its leadership position in technology, whilst improving cost efficiencies. Recently moved to 32APSK technology, that improves satellite throughput by over 30%
- Working closely with its 9,000+ franchisees to remain focused on the subscriber through continuous enhancement of the quality of service and viewership experience.
NXTDIGITAL continues to remain committed to its digital platforms business and furthering the governments mission of “Digital India”, “Skill India” and “Make in India”. Whilst it has expanded its objectives to bring digitalization to remote areas; it continues to propagate the “Make in India” mission by developing solutions indigenously.
This is manifested through well planned strategies like working to develop Set Top Boxes locally and thereby stimulate the India manufacturing industry, initiating “digital” online training for LCOs, establishing a robust digital payment collection platform; and a proactive Business Continuity Plan (BCP) rolled out to ensure top class services even amidst major cyclones and the Covid-19 pandemic that impacted the entire country.
Vynsley Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, IMCL, said, reiterated that “This kind of outstanding performance consistently over the last 4 quarters speaks volumes on our commitment towards our subscribers through strong value creation.
“We firmly stand committed to further our endeavour of creating an integrated platform for digital services, offering Cable TV, Satellite, Broadband and other digital media, all under one roof.
“Building an effective framework along with our product bundling strategy has been crucial for our business turnaround in FY20. With close to a 100% prepaid base and a substantial presence in Phase 3 and 4 markets, IMCL expects to continue on its digital growth path,” Fernandes said.
Vision for Growth
The company plans to expand its Managed Services model significantly. The company has already signed on large Multi-System Operators to provide these delivery services; which will take its total serviced customer base to over 10 million.
Additionally, the company is looking to tap into the cable TV market serviced by smaller and independent MSOs; and which is estimated at over 69 million today.
Effectively, the model is to support these smaller MSOs and Local Cable Operators, several of whom are unable to sustain their businesses due to increasing costs of connectivity and technology obsolescence.
A similar model is being defined to help its existing franchisees become multi-product and multi-service providers; offering customers a whole range of services from FMCG products to digital and financial solutions.
This will help its franchisees not only sustain their businesses, but diversify and grow their earnings portfolio, across the country.
The company remains focused on delivering integrated services to customers, bundling television with broadband services from its subsidiary ONEOTT iNTERTAINMENT Ltd., which has a presence in over 40 cities.