NXTDIGITAL Limited, an integrated digital platforms company and part of the Hinduja Group, has said it aims to expand the current coverage of the HITS platform to at least another 100 towns and has plans to roll out new technology solutions and devices, including high-end versions of the hybrid STB that will deliver linear television and streaming services, including OTT through a single device, seamlessly.
The board of the company in a meeting on Thursday also approved a ‘Rights Issue’ of two equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each for every five equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each held in the company at an issue price of Rs 300 per share.
The move to approve the ‘Rights Issue’ was taken to have a stronger capital structure, which would provide a strong basis for future growth investments and to bring in a more healthy mix of debt to equity by reducing debt and improving the equity base, the company said in a statement, adding it was subject to regulatory and other approvals.
NXTDIGITAL also yesterday reported revenues for the quarter ending March31, 2021 increased by 6.95 per cent over the previous quarter and by 22.38 per cent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year, bucking the COVID impact-trend on the media and entertainment (M&E) industry.
The EBIDTA for the quarter increased by 8.10 per cent over the previous quarter and by 167 per cent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For the year ending March 31, 2021, the company recorded an EBIDTA of Rs 232.08 crore, growing by 6.16 per cent over the previous year. EBIDTA margins improved to 23.01 per cent for the year compared to 21.04 in the previous year.
The company posted a PAT of Rs13.66 crore (Rs. 136.6 million) in Q4 as against Rs 0.32crores in the previous quarter and a loss after tax of Rs 43.43 crore (Rs. 434.3 crore) in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
Broadband business saw a growth of 87 per cent in the customer base, growing from 0.329 million in FY20 to 0.615 million in FY21.
The company claimed that key drivers for growth, resulting in impressive numbers, include rolling out a digital work-from-home solutions bundle comprising video, broadband and value-added services, leveraging the broadband capability of the organization to cater to the surge in demand, working with broadcasters and last mile partners to create innovative content packages and ensuring a strong business continuity plan to keep the operations going.
With an aim to acknowledge the support of shareholder-family in these challenging times, the Board of Directors recommended a dividend of Rs 4 per equity share, subject to shareholders’ approval.
Faced with the challenges of the pandemic, the company said it accelerated transformation to an “all- digital” services company, redefining the business models through innovation and leveraging the
portfolio optimally. Some of the drivers included:
- Rolling out a digital work-from-home solutions bundle that included television channels, special value-added services (including educational and other exclusive channels) and high-speed Internet delivering speeds up to 1,000 Mbps.
- Leveraging the broadband capability of the organization to optimally cater to the surge in demand. The business saw a huge growth of 87 per cent in the customer base; growing from 0.329 million in FY20 to 0.615mn in FY21. In fact, NXT’s broadband arm, ONEOTT Intertainment Ltd. added over 100,000 customers in the last quarter of FY21 alone.
- Working with broadcasters and last mile partners to create innovative content packages to cater to the changing consumer demand — ranging from all-HD content packages to kids’ content to economical infotainment packages. The efficacy is reflected in ARPUs; in the case of DAS3 markets (where the HITS platform has a significant base), ARPUs grew from Rs 144 in FY20 to Rs 151.
- Ensuring a strong business continuity plan to keep the operations going — delivering uninterrupted customers services and maintaining a high level of quality of service for television and broadband.
Vynsley Fernandes, MD & CEO at NXTDIGITAL Ltd. said, “This performance trains the spotlight on NXTDIGITAL, considering this was easily one of the most challenging years, which saw a significant impact on the media and entertainment industry.
“The stellar performance can be attributed to the company’s focus on uninterrupted customer service during the lockdown and after, innovative products and solutions to combat the myriad of ground challenges, driving close to a 100 per cent digital mode of collections on a prepaid basis and the unstinting and tireless efforts of all our employees and our Last Mile partners — all of whom rose to the occasion, without exception”.
The company’s HITS platform recently announced infrastructure-sharing agreement with MSO SITI Networks and plans to expand such a relationship with other registered MSOs in the country.
Named the PaaS solution, the infrastructure sharing services could impact over 60 million cable TV subscribers connected to around 1,000 MSOs – largely independent or regional players, who face cost and quality challenges, the company said.
NXT is already in discussions with several MSOs, keen to leverage the PaaS solution to control their costs and improve their quality of services.
The company will continue to grow its broadband subscriber base focusing on leveraging the installed customer base of the digital cable and HITS platforms, while simultaneously looking to expand its footprint.