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UTV Software Posts Q1 Net Loss Of Rs23.33 crore; To Consider Stake Sale In UTVi, Says Screwvala

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UTV Software Communications Ltd, a diversified media company with interests in broadcasting, TV software, films, new media and gaming, today posted a net loss of Rs23.33 crore for the quarter ended 30 June, swinging from a profit of Rs19.88 crore for the year-ago period.

UTV promoter Ronnie Screwvala told Reuters that he will consider selling a minority stake in the group’s business news channel UTVi. contentSutra reported in May that UTVi was in talks with Bloomberg TV for a partnership that will involve content sharing, co-branding and a stake sale. We subsequently reported that Bloomberg was also in talks with NDTV Profit for a partnership.

Of the five verticals the company does business in, four turned in a loss and the fifth–television production–reported 23% lower profits this quarter. The bottomline has also been hit by Rs10.41 crore losses in broadcasting, a vertical that was consolidated only from Q2 of last fiscal. Losses widened year-on-year in both new media (233%) and games (192%). Films segment swung to a loss of Rs9.59 crore during the quarter under review from a profit of Rs24.76 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal. No films had released during the period under review due to a standoff between producers and multiplex owners.

Revenues from films dropped from Rs93 crore to Rs26.5 crore this quarter. Revenues grew in TV software, Internet and gaming segments. A y-o-y comparison is not possible in broadcasting.

In a statement, the company said Q2 will continue to be negative, while Q3 and Q4 will be positive and the company hoped to post positive results for the current fiscal. During this fiscal, the motion picture unit will release 12 films.

1Q 2009 1Q 2008
EPS -Rs6.82 Rs6.59
Net Income -Rs23.33 crore Rs19.88 crore
Revenue Rs115.36 crore Rs137.07 crore