sandesh ltd share price Management discussions


1. INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENTS

Indian Media & Entertainment (M&E) sector recovered by 16.4% to 1.61 trillion, still 11% short of pre-pandemic 2019 levels, due to the second wave of COVID-19. It is expected as per the report that the M&E sector may grow 17% in 2022 to reach 1.89 trillion and recover its 2019 levels, then grow at a CAGR of 11% to reach 2.32 trillion by 2024. The share of traditional media i.e. television, print, film entertainment, OOH, music and radio, stood at 68% of M&E sector revenues in 2021, down from 75% in 2019. For print media, advertising revenues grew up by 24% in 2021, despite advertisement rates remaining subdued. Subscription revenues saw a growth of 12% on the back of recovery in direct to home and newsstand sales as well as rising cover prices. Corporate sales, metro circulation and English dailies remained under stress.

Television advertising grew up by 25% to end 2021 which was just 2% short of 2019 levels. Subscription revenue continued to fall for the second year in a row; experiencing a 6.2% de-growth due to a reduction of six million pay TV homes and a fall in consumer-end ARPUs. Connected TV sets, however, increased to 10 million. OOH media grew up 27% but remained at 50% of 2019 levels. Capacity utilization improved towards the end of 2021, but rates remained challenged. It is expected to regain 2019 levels not before Year 2024. (Source: EY FICCI Report 2022)

As per the Annual Report 2020-21 published by the Registrar of Newspapers for India, on 31st March, 2021, there were 1,44,520 registered publications as against 1,43,423 at the end of March, 2020. A total of 1097 new publications were registered during 2020- 21. (Source: Press in India 2020-21 by RNI)

The Company started its journey in 1923 and it belongs to the Regional Print Media Industry. Late Mr. Chimanbhai S. Patel acquired the entire business from the original promoter in the year 1958, and had put his efforts to strengthen the activities carried out by "SANDESH". The editorial policy of the Company has always been based on basic journalistic values of objectivity and has not been influenced by any external forces. Presently, Mr. Falgunbhai C. Patel, Chairman & Managing Director is running the entire business affairs of the Company, along with his son Mr. Parthiv F. Patel, Managing Director and a professional team of the Executives of the Company. The Company has a strong regional franchise, where it enjoys strong readership loyalty.

Currently, the Company is a publisher of "SANDESH" a premier Gujarati daily newspaper published from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhuj and Bhavnagar in Gujarat, to carry on the business of editing, printing and publishing newspapers. The Company had started its printing facilities at Vadodara during 1985-86, at Surat during 1989-90, at Rajkot during 1990-91, at Bhavnagar during 1998-99 and at Bhuj during 2010-11 to cater to the semi-urban and rural areas. Besides the Company publishes the periodical "Sandesh Pratyaksha Panchang" which popular among the public.

The Companys News & Current Affairs TV channel Sandesh News is very popular amongst Gujarati Viewers and it has also won several awards. Further, as a part of its out-of-home (OOH) advertising activity, the Company has advertisements sites at the major commercial areas in the city of Ahmedabad.

2. OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS

India may overtake France in 2022 to become the sixth-largest economy in the world as per the recent report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research. The report also predicts that India will overtake Germany by 2031 to become the third-largest economy in the world with a GDP of more than US$6.8 trillion. Reserve Bank of India has retained the countrys GDP growth forecast at 9.5% despite on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Economic impact of "second wave" was much smaller than that during the full lockdown phase in 2020-21, though health impact was more severe. However, it also cautioned that the economic recovery is not strong enough to be durable and self-sustaining. As per IMFs World Economic Outlook projections, Indias real GDP projected to grow at 9 per cent in 2021-22 and 2022-23 and at 7.1 percent in 2023-2024, which would make India the fastest growing major economy in the world for all three years.

India is one of the very few countries in the world where the newspaper is delivered to the doorstep every day. This zero friction availability of newspapers is significant contributor to its continued growth. With the boom in the digitalization few readers may have shifted to digital media, but still majority of the readers prefer a physical copy because they believe that the information provided to them is credible and accurate. In addition several surveys also indicate that newspapers are better able to increase reader loyalty because the credibility of the print medium is unparalleled. Credibility and trust in print as a medium of information is always high. Print allows you to choose a publication that your target audience is most likely to read. This can be a trade magazine that caters to a specific industry or a local newspaper. This is why many say print is better at reaching local audiences.

The Company, with its six editions at different strategic locations, has strongly established its presence across the State of Gujarat. The Company continues to see the potential growth in rural and semi-urban areas of Gujarat. The Company is planning to continuously improve the circulation of its newspaper in those areas also and will target higher readership amongst the young, educated and elite class of the public. The publications of the Company are very popular in the urban areas of the State and it continuously improving the readership in smaller towns and villages of the State of Gujarat.

Indian advertising recovered to 94% of Year 2019 levels in 2021. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, advertising revenues in the country bounced-back from a 29% degrowth in Year 2020 to a dramatic 25% growth in Year 2021. Advertisings are now hardly 6% short of their Year 2019 numbers. The growth momentum in advertising is expected to continue in Year 2022 with a projected growth rate of 16%, taking overall advertising revenue to 865 billion. Advertising is expected to grow at a healthy 12% CAGR till Year 2024, with digital media growing at 20% and traditional media growing at 8%. Optimism in the marketing community is high with 88% of the marketers believing that consumer spending will grow, while 8% are of the opinion that advertising spends will stay the same.

The print segment grew up 20% in Year 2021 to reach 77% of pre-pandemic levels and overall advertising revenues were still 27% below pre-pandemic levels. Advertising in English publications recovered to 63% of pre-pandemic levels, while advertising in Hindi and regional language publications recovered to around 78%. FMCG, education, auto and real estate continued to be the largest spenders on print. Advertisement volumes recovered 32%.

Circulation revenues recovered 12% in Year 2021. Corporate/institutional circulation remains impacted by 60% across languages. News stand and home delivery circulation seems to have recovered over 85% for most regional and Hindi print companies.

Print segment is expected to grow at 3.3% CAGR and reach 250 billion by Year 2024. Subscription growth will be more muted at 1-2% CAGR, driven by cover price increases which will offset loss of reader base in metro markets. It is also estimated that newspaper circulation will grow to reach 90% of Year 2019 levels by Year 2024. It is also estimated that 5-10% of the print circulation may have been lost permanently due to breakage in the daily reading habits, growth of digital news media adoption during the pandemic or other pecuniary concerns.

While the dip in circulation has been more for English publications, it is expected that the vernacular publications will ride out the impact of the pandemic with single digit falls (for most large brands) and over time, for market leaders to grow their circulation to pre-pandemic levels on the back of literacy growth in India. It is estimated that by Year 2022, newspaper circulation will recover to 88% of Year 2019 levels and further grow to reach 90% by Year 2024.

The digital media segment grew up by 29% to reach 303 billion in Year 2021. It is expected that the segment will grow at a CAGR of 20% over the next three years. Internet penetration increased 5% to reach 834 million subscriptions, of which 795 million had broadband access as of September 2021. Indians spent 4.7 hours a day on their phones in Year 2021, aggregating 700 billion hours of consumption (second highest in the world). Online news audience grew up to 467 million in Year 2021, which is over 50% of internet subscriptions. News is now available in up to 15 languages on aggregator platforms. In addition, advertising by SME and long-tail advertisers reached 117 billion. Advertisement rates of premium properties increased, but average rates continued to reduce as inventory volumes increased by over 30%. E-commerce platforms earned over 55 billion in advertising, which is 16% of total digital advertising (up from 12% in Year 2020). Online news reach grew between Year 2020 and Year 2021 to reach 467 million across mobile and desktop users of news sites, portals and aggregators. This is approximately 56% of internet users. While mobile news aggregators play a relatively small part in the media eco-system of Western countries, they have a significant position in India. The Company has its own mobile application.

Print Companies are also focusing on enhancing their digital footprint. Almost all the large print companies have established their news websites and/or apps. While most Indian publishers have created an online presence, digital content monetization is still significantly under penetrated for many players. The Company has also created its online presence through its website - www. sandesh.com and also provides for E-Newspaper indistinguishable to its physical newspaper. Digital Media, although it has a much wider reach and allows for greater flexibility, its results do not compare to the quality customer relationships one can gain from using a print media strategy.

The Company has News and Current Affair Television channel Sandesh News which is very popular amongst Gujarati Viewers.

Television advertising grew 25% in Year 2021, recovering from a 21.5% drop in Year 2020, just 2% short of Year 2019 levels. Advertisement recovery was volume-driven for most of the year, with an average of 3% rate growth. Time spent on TV fell 8% from Year 2020 levels and was slightly lower than Year 2019 levels for Hindi speaking markets. While television households will continue to grow at 1% till Year 2025, it is expected that the growth to be driven by connected TVs which could cross 40 million by Year 2025 and free television which could cross 50 million, thereby stressing the core pay television market. News channels comprised 43% of total channels. Many advertisers increased their share of spends on regional TV products - regional channels (836 hours/ channel) received 26% more advertisement volumes than national channels (664 hours/ channel) in Year 2021. The regional viewership share is over 50% of total TV viewership.

3. SEGMENT - WISE OR PRODUCT - WISE PERFORMANCE

During the year under review the Company has two reportable segments - Media and Finance. Media is the core business of the Company since its inception.

Media Segment:

The revenue from media segment was 25850.53 Lacs during the Financial Year under review as against 22762.53 Lacs in the previous Financial Year.

Finance Segment:

The revenue from finance segment 1873.79 Lacs during the Financial Year under review as against 2013.69 Lacs in the previous Financial Year.

4. OUTLOOK, RISKS AND CONCERNS

There was some recovery for the print media in the year under report. As per the report, the print segment grew 20% in Year 2021 to reach 77% of pre-pandemic levels. There were many restrictions on distribution of the publications in the first half of Financial Year 2021 as at that time there was rumour that the reader would be infected with the virus of COVID-19. Restrictions on distribution of the publications eased in the Year 2022. Second wave of the pandemic again affected the distribution of the publications. Many readers have begun to prefer online news, though advertisers remain at ease with this shift because they believe that print media now has more serious readers.

Print advertisement expenses registered 39% growth, following a sharp 41% decline in Year 2020. This is good news for print industry and demonstrates that advertisers have confidence in the power of print and will use it aggressively if it is right priced. Printing advertisement expenses has a 22% share of total advertisement expenses and this would probably make the country the print capital of the world along with Germany. (Source: Pitch Madison Advertising Outlook Report 2022)

Circulation revenues grew up by 12% in calendar year 2021. Corporate/institutional circulation remained impacted by 60% across languages and news stand and home delivery circulation seems to have recovered over 85% for most regional and Hindi print companies. English language and metro market circulations are still at least 20-25% below their pre-pandemic levels in most cases. According to estimates, 5% to 10% of print circulation may have been permanently lost due to disruptions in daily reading habits, increased use of digital news media during the pandemic, or other financial concerns. It is estimated that newspaper circulation will grow to reach 90% of Year 2019 levels by Year 2024. (Source: EY FICCI Report 2022)

The increase in population, literacy rate and reach has led to increased circulation and readership of the newspapers in India. The Company plans to maintain and increase its geographical presence, which will help to improve circulation and readership of its publications.

The print industry has also faced a shortage of newsprint due to increase in prices and supply issues. There was shortage of the newsprint due to impact of the pandemic, the disrupted operations of newsprint mills and recycling of waste paper, and also the Ukraine war, which has affected the import of newsprint. Newsprint became unavailable from major exporter Russia. There were also disruptions in supply from Canada and Finland due to strikes. International rates of the newsprint increased and the domestic prices also rose to match the international rates of newsprint. In order to mitigate the high cost impact on the business operations due to newsprint prices, the Company uses judicious mix of imported as well as domestic newsprint and also tries to reduce consumption of newsprint by controlling wastage.

The supply chain is disrupted due to continued Russia-Ukraine war. Economic growth is impacted due to inflation. The purchasing power of the customers and consumers has been reduced. The Company may not be able to attain the desired growth in revenues and profit. The Company has managed adequate supply of the newsprint during the year.

The Print industry in the country is highly fragmented. There is stiff competition between publication houses for circulation, readership and advertising and this industry is very competitive. The Company is well established and it has better financial resources and it always strives hard to generate higher revenues every year and hence, the Company is able to quickly respond to market changes and consumer sentiments. And, the print media has unique advantages like authenticity, local news, affordable pricing and easy availability. Print media is a preferred medium on account of circulation of fake news on social media/other online medium during the pandemic. The Company owns a popular brand and it has strong presence in the vernacular print media.

The Company has competed successfully in the year under review and it believes to continuously compete effectively. The Company is continuously strengthening its market position, reinforcing its relationships with agents, advertisers and it provides high quality contents to its readers. The Companys website i.e. "www.sandesh.com" is a very popular website for the Gujarati community.

The Company is committed for giving credible news to the readers and viewers. The Company is hopeful that the economic activities will recover soon and the Company will achieve better financial performance.

5. INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEMS & THEIR ADEQUACY

The Companys internal control systems are adequate considering size and nature of operations of the Company, meets with the regulatory and statutory requirements, assuring recording of all transactions and also ensuring reporting the financial information in a timely and reliable manner. The Company has defined risk management framework and it is implemented as an integral part of business processes. The Company has installed Enterprise Resource Planning System (SAP) for accounting purposes. To counter the adverse fluctuation in the newsprint prices, the Company vigorously keeps watch on its price trends and accordingly plans the purchase of newsprint to ensure efficient operations and better profitability. The Company applies effective mitigation techniques to manage potential risks. Risk management system includes recording, monitoring and controlling internal enterprise business risks and addressing them through informed and objective strategies. Further, the Board of Directors of the Company has adopted a Risk Management Policy and it has identified various risks and also has mitigation plans for each risk identified. Its comprehensive risk management system ensures that all risks are timely identified, assessed and mitigated in accordance with the Risk Management Policy. The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company periodically reviews the internal control system and also internal audit reports issued by the Internal Auditors of the Company.

The Company has formulated a robust whistleblower policy for receiving and redressing complaints of employees. No employee has been denied access to the Audit Committee or its Chairman during the year under review.

6. DEVELOPMENTS ON HUMAN RESOURCE / INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS FRONT

A Companys assets fall in two categories Tangible Assets and Intangible Assets. At first glance it would seem that the employees are Tangible assets but in-fact they are the Intangible assets of the Company. The skill sets of the Companys employees are an asset to the organization and since abilities cant be touched, the employees are therefore intangible assets of any Company. The Company treats its employees as most valuable assets as it knows that without good employees the best of the business plans and ideas will fail. In todays dynamic and continuously changing business world, it is the human assets and not the fixed or tangible assets that differentiate an organization from its competitors. Improving employee efficiency and performance has always been the top most priority for the Company. The Company also aims to align human resource practices with its business goals. The performance management system enables a holistic approach to the issue of managing performance and does not limit to only an appraisal. The total number of permanent employees on the rolls of the Company is 444 as on March 31,2022. The Company takes pride of its highly motivated and committed team of its employees. The employees performed to their full potential and contributed to the growth and development of the Company. Further, the Company has adopted various safety measures to ensure safe working environment for the employees of the Company. During the Financial Year, the industrial relations between the employees and management were calm and composed.

Further, the Company has complied with the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The Company has formed Internal Complaints Committee and also formulated a policy. No complaint was reported during the Financial Year 2021-22.

7. DISCUSSIONS ON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE WITH RESPECT TO OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE SUMMARY FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Particulars

Standalone

Consolidated

2021-22 2020-21 2021-22 2020-21
Revenue from Operations 30697.37 27184.37 30883.87 27372.07
Other Income 4576.52 4702.60 4596.58 4721.51
Total Revenue 35273.89 31886.97 35480.45 32093.58
Expenditure 23062.87 19666.91 23232.37 19783.15
EBIDTA 12211.02 12220.06 12248.08 12310.43
EBIDTA Margin 34.62% 38.32% 34.52% 38.36%
Finance Cost 20.02 46.10 20.02 46.10
Depreciation & Amortisation 638.19 693.61 642.52 693.61
Total Expenditure 23721.08 20406.62 23894.91 20522.86
Exceptional Item 230.19 152.80 230.19 152.80
Profit Before Tax 11783.00 11633.15 11815.73 11723.52
Provision for Current Tax, Deferred Tax & Other Tax Expenses 2826.98 2702.46 2833.21 2725.23
Profit After Tax 8956.02 8930.69 8982.52 8998.29
PAT Margin 25.39% 28.01% 25.32% 28.04%
Dividend as % of Paid -up share Capital 50% 50% N.A. N.A.

Revenue from Operations

During the year under review on Standalone basis, the income from operations has increased by 12.92% from 27184.37 Lacs in F.Y. 2020-21 to 30697.37 Lacs in F.Y. 2021-22.

EBIDTA

EBIDTA during the year stood at 12211.02 Lacs (34.62%) as compared to 12220.06 Lacs (38.32%) in the previous year.

Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization charge during the F.Y. 2021-22 was 638.19 Lacs as compared with 693.61 Lacs during the previous F.Y. 2020-21.

Finance Cost

Finance Cost amounted to 20.02 Lacs during F.Y. 2021-22 compared to 46.10 Lacs during the previous financial year.

Income Tax

The income tax charge for the F.Y. 2021-22 stood at 2826.98 Lacs compared to 2702.46 Lacs in the previous F.Y. 2020-21.

Profit after Tax

The profit after taxes for the F.Y. 2021-22 was 8956.02 Lacs compared to 8930.69 Lacs in the previous F.Y. 2020-21.

Fixed Assets

The investment in the fixed assets at the end of the F.Y. 2021-22 was 5876.76 Lacs as compared to 6503.42 Lacs as at the end of previous F.Y. 2020-21.

The Company endeavours to move upwards in its core business and it also strives hard to improvise its strengths to keep its dominance in the existing business and further, also explores opportunities available in any new sectors.

FINANCIAL RATIOS

Summary
Financial Ratio
Particular 2021-22 2020-21 % change Reasons for Change
Debtors Turnover 6.60 4.59 44% Due to improved efficiency in collection of debtor.
Inventory Turnover 7.52 7.96 -6%
Interest Coverage Ratio -- -- --
Current Ratio 7.91 6.81 16%
Debt Equity Ratio -- -- --
Operating Profit Margin % 22.79% 25.10% -9 %
Net Profit Margin % 29.18% 32.85% -11%
Return on Net worth 9.78% 10.75% -9%

8. CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

Readers are cautioned that this discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Actual results, performances or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. The details and information used in this report have been taken from publicly available sources. Any discrepancies in the details or information are incidental and unintentional. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of date. The above discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the Companys financial statements included herein and the notes thereto.