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The India growth story continues to progress and evolve, thanks to certain key reforms aimed at formalising the economy and attaining its sustainability.
I agree that the past two years have been difficult times and witnessed lower growth; but for the sake of the long-term, short-term pains have to be borne. At Jagran, we consider ourselves as a potent vehicle of infotainment, insight and empowerment for all sections of society. We see our leadership through the prism of responsibility and delivery of sustained excellence.
According to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017, we have sustained our undisputed leadership. Our flagship brand,
Dainik Jagran, enjoys a total readership of 7 Crore, outshining other industry peers. Over the years, we have emerged as a dominant player in the media and entertainment industry.
IRS helps us understand consumer demographics with high level of authenticity and accuracy to align future strategies accordingly.
The operating performance across all businesses was satisfactory in the prevailing business environment. FY 2017-18 further reinforced the market position of Dainik Jagran, which augurs well for our future; and will help us capitalise on the significant potential when the economy gathers momentum. The other three verticals (radio, outdoor and digital) performed remarkably well and registered industry-best growth rates in their respective segments. However, our print business underperformed in terms of revenue and profit for reasons beyond our control.
Over the years, we have transformed ourselves from a print-focussed enterprise to a multimedia conglomerate. We have strategically deployed capital in high-growth and underpenetrated businesses (radio and digital) to achieve the next phase of growth. We have started seeing the fruits of our long-term value investments during the year under review.
During FY 2017-18, our revenues from non-print businesses constituted around 20%. Our radio business delivered 32.6% EBITDA margin in FY 2017-18; and the digital advertisement business demonstrated 16% revenue growth. We have fallen short of our own expectations in terms of profits but our fundamentals remain strong and focus on cash generation, capital deployment and rewarding shareholders continued. We are confident that our vision and strategy will continue to drive our business, going forward. I am happy to share that the Board has proposed a buyback worth Rs.293 Crore (Rs.195 per share) and dividend of Rs.89 Crore (Rs.3 per share), continuing our philosophy of rewarding shareholders.
In our print business, our leadership is built on long-term sustainable relationships. We have reinforced our industry position on account of stable and consistent business strategy. During FY 2017-18, the lingering impact of demonetisation, implementation related issues of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) were lifetime events, which were adverse to the performance in the year under review. However, I am confident that implementation of GST and RERA will help in the medium to long term.
Our radio business demonstrated 10% revenue growth, with a current market share of around 21%.
The revenue growth was primarily contributed by volume growth in new stations and yield growth in legacy stations. Our margins improved, despite investments in Phase III stations.
We drive our citizenship initiatives through our charitable trust, Shri Puran Chandra Gupta Smarak Trust. Pahel, an outfit of the Trust, helps organise workshops and seminars to raise awareness about different social issues. The Trust also organises health camps or roadshows for creating awareness against different social concerns and helps disadvantaged sections of the population. Pahel has been working with various national and international organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on various projects. Pehel has also been actively participating in Swachh Bharat Mission in partnership with Reckitt Benckiser and working with them in 200 villages, many of which have been declared open defecation free (ODF). The Trust has also been imparting primary, secondary and higher education to more than 11,000 students through schools and colleges at Kanpur, Noida, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and smaller towns such as Kannauj and Basti, among others.
Our strategy is designed to ensure we have a sustainable business through economic volatilities and market cycles, creating and protecting value for the long term.
I always seek the guidance and support of all our stakeholders in this journey and will always endeavour to improve our efforts in the interest of all, including the society at large.
MAHENDRA MOHAN GUPTA
Chairman & Managing Director