The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Saregama to be in black soon

Calcutta, Sept. 26: Saregama India Limited (the erstwhile Gramophone Company), will be back into the black by 2003-04.

Addressing shareholders here today at the 55th annual general meeting, chairman Sanjiv Goenka said, “The current year will continue to feel the repercussion of high music acquisition costs for new Hindi films, lower realisations on account of price adjustments and lower volumes due to MP3 proliferation. We, therefore, expect this year to be as difficult a period as the previous year. However, the company is expected to start making profits from 2003-04.”

The R. P. Goenka group company had registered a net loss of Rs 25.76 crore in 2001-02 and a net loss of Rs 13.15 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Goenka said the company was in advanced stages of launching its Hindi film production and Hindi television software ventures and deals regarding this were expected to be finalised within the next couple of weeks.

The company has acquired the music rights of films of major banners like that of Yash Chopra, Rajshri, and Ramesh Sippy, to be released during the year.

Goenka said the company’s television software was doing well and would contribute to the bottomline while the tieup with Warner Home Video ABP Group would bolster sales.

Revenues would also increase from the publishing stream, growth in CD volumes and a further reduction in operating expenditure.

“We have achieved a reduction of Rs 6 crore in operation expenditure and we will continue initiative through stricter budgetary controls and effective manpower rationalisation,” he said.

The chairman said they had already shifted the manufacturing location of their international business comprising Saregama Plc and RPG Global Mauritius from UK and Singapore to India, which would not only result in an annualised saving of Rs 1 crore, but also provide greater access to different repertoire.

Saregama Plc succeeded in bringing four new states in the US under its distribution network while RPG Global ventured into markets in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Saregama also plans to increase its airtime of TV software in the south through more programme offerings and had already moved to daily soap from weekly serials in that market.

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