Sun TV to invest Rs.100 crore in 2010-11

Chennai, May 28 (IANS) Media conglomerate Sun TV Network will invest around Rs.100 crore this fiscal to upgrade infrastructure and acquire content, a top company official said Friday.

‘We will invest around Rs.100 crore across our different business lines this year. Our focus this year will be on monetising all our existing assets,’ Chief Operating Officer Ajay Vidyasagar told reporters here while declaring the annual results for the 2009-10 financial year.

The company closed the last fiscal with a turnover and net profit of Rs.1,395 crore and Rs.567 crore, respectively, as against Rs.1,008 crore and Rs.437 crore earned in 2008-09.

Vidyasagar said the company’s revamped distribution model is now well set and the teams for the south and other markets have started getting results.

‘Earlier almost all our revenues were from the southern states. With South Indians present in other parts of the country in sizeable numbers we decided focus on them and hope to increase the subscriber revenue by 300 percent from the non-Southern parts of India,’ he said.

According to him, the company derives 60 percent of its revenues from Tamil and Malayalam channels. Telugu and Kannada channels contribute the rest 40 percent.

‘At a time when the industry’s advertisement revenue growth averaged around 10 percent Sun TV logged a 38 percent growth. The subscriber revenue – revenue from direct to home (DTH) operators and cable operators – too grew well last fiscal,’ he added.

The company earned around Rs.200 crore as subscriber revenue from cable operators mostly from the four southern states- an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.

According to Vidyasagar, the revenue from DTH players and the cable operators is more or less equal now.

He said the market has absorbed the 10 to 33 percent advertisement rate hike effected in January this year.

About movie production and distribution business, he said: ‘Sun Pictures – the movie production and distribution division, contributes around four percent of the turnover. After our entry the Tamil movie field has got fresh energy.’

Asked about the 43 radio stations operated by the company through subsidiaries, he said: ‘Radio is a young business. Last year the revenue from radio business was Rs.56 crore, up from Rs.33 crore earned in 2008-09. We have unified all our radio brands outside Tamil Nadu under Red FM brand.’

He said last fiscal the radio business cut down losses drastically to Rs.12 crore from Rs.35 crore logged in the previous fiscal.

‘We hope the radio business to break even this fiscal,’ Vidyasagar added.

The company board has recommended a final dividend of 120 percent on the equity shares with a face value of Rs.5. Taking into account the 30 percent interim dividend declared earlier, the total dividend for last year is 150 percent.

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