Adlabs revenue up 217%, profit falls

Absorption of radio division takes a bite out of net

NEW DELHI -- Adlabs Films, India's leading film banner and theatrical chain, reported a 217% jump in quarterly revenue but a sharp drop in net profits thanks to the absorption of a related radio division into its accounting.

Mumbai-based Adlabs -- a division of potential DreamWorks partner Reliance Big Entertainment -- said Friday that revenue for the three months ending June 30 rose to $62.5 million (2.5 billion rupees).

Profits stood at $580,000 (23.2 million rupees), down sharply from the same quarter in 2007, when the company reported a profit of 210 million rupees.

"The figures for the corresponding quarters may not be comparable due to the interest and depreciation costs of the radio division, which was only recently included in the group accounting," Adlabs CFO Venkat Devarajan said.

Revenue from radio business Big FM, which runs stations in more than 45 cities, was $12.8 million.

Under the Adlabs Films umbrella, the company runs various divisions including India's largest theatrical chain, with 175 screens, a film processing facility and a film production and distribution banner.

Theatrical revenue grew by 184% to $19.5 million; film processing services recorded a 48% rise to $7.5 million; and film production and distribution business increased 372%, contributing $13.3 million with such titles as the political drama "Sarkar Raj."

Revenue from the group's television unit, Synergy Adlabs -- which produces Indian versions of game shows including "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" -- was $4.3 million.

Adlabs is gearing up for Friday's release of "Singh Is Kinng," which is expected to open strongly given the star power of leads Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif.

"Traditionally, the second half of the year is very good for the entertainment business," Devarajan said. "We expect to see good quarters going ahead."