Let me begin by thanking each one of you for the overwhelming response
to our maiden IPO during the year. The successful listing of Hindustan
Media Ventures Limited marked the end of the restructuring process by
our parent company, HT Media Limited. The separation was well
envisioned, keeping in mind the underlying growth potential of our
Hindi business and the focus that was needed to unlock its true
We have reached a critical juncture in our growth journey. While the
first decade of the 21st century served as a period of consolidation
for India; the second decade, in my view, will witness the unlocking of
our true potential. A key aspect of this socio-economic progress is the
increasing participation of rural and semi-urban populations and
geographies in the national economy. While growth is reaching its high
point in developed parts of the country, it is also finding new centers
in underdeveloped areas.
The latest census estimated that the overall literacy rate has improved
to 74% from 65%. Another study by FICCI-KPMG estimated the total
literate population in India at 579 million, with print media’s
penetration put at a little over 30%. It is encouraging to note that
socio-economic indicators are registering growth, even at the furthest
mile. This augurs well for regional language newspapers like Hindustan.
The revival of the Indian economy after the slump, that was brought on
by the global financial crisis, has helped the media sector to regain
its growth momentum. The FICCI-KPMG report suggests that the surge in
advertising has acted as a catalyst for expansion of the media industry
in general, and print media in particular. Advertising spends grew by
17% to Rs. 266 billion and accounted for 41% of the overall size of the
media industry. Rising literacy levels amid low print media penetration
substantial room for growth. According to the report, the overall print
media industry may witness a CAGR of 10%, to touch Rs. 310 billion in
five years. Regional media is expected to grow at an even higher rate
FY 11 was a landmark year for your Company. A major breakthrough came
in the latter half, when IRS Q4 for the year 2010 confirmed that our
flagship brand Hindustan had emerged as the second-largest newspaper in
terms of total readership, in all languages in the country.
Our vision is to sustain and build on this, continuing the march
forward to reach the top spot. We will make efforts to benefit from the
rising interest of readers and advertisers in Hindi print media and
translate this into stable, robust growth in the years ahead.
We have tried to make the best of the growth in the vernacular and
regional media print space by focusing our efforts on serving the
requirements of the target audience, be it readers or advertisers. We
have continued with our endeavour to localize news, while offering a
judicious mix that includes national news. We have also addressed the
requirement of our growing readership within the student community,
keeping the publication tuned in and updated with the latest trends,
which includes meeting the burgeoning demand for career opportunities
in a growing economy.
The notable initiatives of the fiscal year include the launch of
Hindustan in Gorakhpur, the strengthening of existing printing and
publishing facilities, and our decision to retire long-term debt of Rs.
During the fiscal year, our revenue improved 19% from the previous
year. Advertisement revenue rose 27%, whereas circulation revenue
showed a modest growth of 1%. We were able to take advantage of this at
the level of profitability, with EBITDA gains of 12%.
Finally, I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to the senior
management team and the employees, and my gratitude to our
shareholders, readers, advertisers, the government, bankers, vendors
and associates, for their valuable contribution and continued support
to Hindustan Media Ventures Limited as always.