Balaji Telefilms’ Q1 net profit up 20.7%; Star JV in limbo

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms reported a net profit of Rs 222.57 million for the quarter ended 30 June, 2008, up 20.7 per cent from Rs 184.4 million in the corresponding period last year.

The company’s revenue increased 22.9 per cent at Rs 916.03 million.

The company’s revenues from commissioned programming was Rs 850.60 million and from sponsored programming was Rs. 65.43 million.

In Q1 FY 09, the production house produced 276.5 hours of commissioned programming and 130 hours of sponsored programming.

Balaji’s expenditure saw a growth of 32.9 per cent to Rs 598.45 million, from Rs 450.30 million in the corresponding period last fiscal.

The company invested over Rs 61.63 million in production and post-production equipments and construction of the state-of-art studios in order to meet the increased programming requirements.

On the movies’ front, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Balaji Motion Pictures released Sarkar Raj and Mission Istaanbul during the quarter. Plans are to release two other films – EMI and C Kkompany over the next four months.

Aditionally, Balaji Telefilms has said that talks with the Star Group for regional channels have not reached any conclusion so far.

In its annual general meeting, Balaji Telefilms said that due to certain operational issues and specific developments in the interim period, the joint venture with Star group for regional channels has not been implemented.

Additionally, the company is currently in discussions with the Star Group in relation to this joint venture.

The joint venture for launching South Indian language channels between the two companies was announced last year. Under the joint venture, Star and Balaji were to combine resources to infuse Vijay TV with Balaji’s content. Plans were also to launch Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and other key regional language channels over a period of time.

The JV would be 51 per cent owned by the Star Group and 49 per cent by Balaji Telefilms.

As per reports, Star, which holds 25.99 per cent stake in Balaji Telefilms through Asian Broadcasting, is also looking at selling its stake.

Future developements on the joint venture will be made available at an appropriate time, Balaji Telefilms said.