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May 30, 2013, 01.16 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Ad mkt improving; eye 12% revenue growth in FY14: Sun Group

We have sufficient inventory in some niche channels, especially comedy, news channel and kids channels. We should be able to deploy additional capacity to good use during the next few months, SL Narayanan said.

The advertisement market now is in a much better position than last year. The 19 percent advertisement tariff hike for six prime channels will be effective from July 15, SL Narayanan, Group CFO, Sun Group said in an interview to CNBC-TV18. It aims to achieve minimum of 12 percent growth in advertisement revenue for FY14.

The company is doing well as far as digitisation is concerned, and target 25 percent DTH subscription revenue growth in the current financial year. "We were growing around 2-2.5 percent un the sequential quarter after September. We grew at 5 percent in December over September. In March, that number has further gone up to 5.6 percent over December," he elaborated.

Also read: Sun TV up on hopes of high demand for share sale offer

Below is the verbatim transcript of his interview to CNBC-TV18

Q: What is the ad market looking like right now and what kind of visibility do you have in terms of both - utilisation of inventory and pricing trends for FY14?

A: The ad market is looking a lot better this time around. Same time last year, we were all dissident. We are surely seeing much better times ahead. In fact we have been encouraged to take a small step forward in terms of increasing prices.

So, for just about six out the nine prime time viewing slots in one of the channels, we have taken prices by an average of 19 percent. Those increases will be effective July 15 of this year.

We have sufficient inventory in some of the niche channels, especially the comedy, news channel and the kids’ channels. So, we think we should be able to deploy additional capacity to good use during the next few months.

Q: What does it seem likely then that you could do in ad revenue growth through the course of FY14? Does it seem possible that you can do something in the 15 percent plus region?

A: We wouldn’t normally give any forward looking statements. However, I think we should grow at a minimum of 12 percent this financial year in terms of ad revenues.

Q: What has your own experience been in terms of DTH subscription and whether that is looking like it’s on the uptrend as well?

A: DTH has been doing exceedingly well because beginning the implementation of our phase one of digitization. We have seen the sequential quarterly growth numbers ramping up. We were growing around 2-2.5 percent sequential quarter after September and beginning December we have seen the number gain some traction.

We grew at 5 percent in December over September. In March, that number has further gone up to 5.6 percent over December. We think that number has the capacity to positively surprise. But we think our subscription revenues could grow at a minimum of 25 percent this year.

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READ MORE ON  Sun TV, DTH, digitisation, SL Narayanan

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