The short-term rating on the commercial paper programme has also been reaffirmed at ‘CRISIL A1+’.
According to the rationale report, the rating action reflects higher-than-expected impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic on HTML.
The ratings continue to reflect the strong market position of HTML's flagship English daily, Hindustan Times (HT), in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the established market position of its Hindi daily, Hindustan.
Further, the ratings also factor in HTML's healthy financial flexibility because of strong liquidity of over Rs1,850cr as on March 31, 2021, prudent capital structure, despite sharp impact of the pandemic on the company’s operations.
These strengths are partially offset by continued weak operating profitability and susceptibility to volatility in newsprint prices and economic downturns.
CRISIL Ratings has combined the business and financial risk profiles of HTML and its subsidiaries. This is because the entities, collectively referred to as the HTML group, are in related businesses and have common promoters.
At around 10:08 AM, H T Media was trading at Rs23.65 apiece up by Rs0.15 or 0.64% on the BSE.