ISLE OF MAN, United Kingdom--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 23, 2018--Eros International Plc (NYSE: EROS) (“Eros” or “the Company”), a leading global Indian film and digital studio, today announced unaudited financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2018.

Financial Highlights:

(1) A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures discussed within this release to our GAAP operating results are included at the end of this release. See also “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Key Business Highlights:

As of June 30, 2018, Eros Now worldwide paying subscribers increased by 248.3% year-over-year and 27.8% sequentially to 10.1 million. The Company is reiterating its guidance of 16 million paying subscribers by fiscal year end 2019. As of June 30, 2018, Eros Now has exceeded 113 million registered users worldwide across APP, WAP and Web. Over the next year, Eros Now is planning to launch a stable of feature films, made-for-digital originals films and over 20 original episodic programs, all of which will be available exclusively on Eros Now to paying subscribers. Three original series, Side Hero, Flip and Smoke, will be launched in the next few weeks. Originals will feature popular names like Rohan Sippy, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Rajat Kapoor, Siddharth Anand and Pavan Kriplani in various capacities. Eros Now announced a partnership with InMobi, a leading global digital marketing platform. The partnership will for the first time enable advertisers to directly monetise on Eros Now’s video platform. Eros Now reinforced its mission of non-stop entertainment, anytime, anywhere with one-of-a-kind brand campaign ‘Bolo Kya Dekhogey.’ The campaign, which rolled out three television commercials, reiterates Eros Now’s leadership position in the movie category, offering its extensive movie library across languages. Eros released 14 films in Q1 FY2019 (one medium budget and 13 small budget films) as compared to five films in Q1 FY2018 (one high budget, one medium budget and three small budget films). This is in line with Eros’ strategy of developing its own intellectual property and concentrating on content-driven films rather than high budget star-driven films. Bhavesh Joshi (Hindi), Meri Nimmo (Digital release), Blackmail (Overseas), Haami (Bengali), Goodnight City (Bengali), Alinagarer Golokdhadha (Bengali) and others were the main revenue contributing films during the first quarter. Reliance Industries Ltd (“RIL” or “Reliance”) completed its acquisition of a 5% equity stake in Eros at a price of $15 per share for a total cash consideration of $46.6 million on August 6, 2018. On a pro forma basis including the $46.6 million equity investment from RIL, Eros’ net debt as of June 30, 2018 is $140.2 million and the net leverage ratio is 1.71x. Eros formed a ground-breaking joint venture with V. Vijayendra Prasad, one of India’s top screen-writers and directors. The exclusive collaboration will build a quality content pipeline through joint development of scripts and production and distribution of films and web-series. Eros also partnered with Phars Film, one of the UAE’s largest film distribution and exhibition networks. Eros also intends to partner with Pana Film, one of the largest Turkish film studios for Indo-Turkish co-productions. Eros releases ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ in Turkey across 190 screens after over $45 million in box office collection in China. Eros also has a distribution partnership with Central Partnership in Russia, which may open new markets for Eros releases. These strategic partnerships not only help Eros augment its in-house content production model, but also expand the geographical canvas for content monetization.

Kishore Lulla, Eros’ Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated:

“We delivered a strong set of results this quarter, underscoring our market leadership, solid business fundamentals and continued growth in our digital platform, Eros Now. As we continue to develop our digital offering and adapt to the dynamic global media landscape we operate in, I want to reflect on the journey we have taken so far. At our core we are, and always have been, a content company delivering premium Indian filmed entertainment to the masses with unparalleled distribution capacity. Almost 20 years ago, Eros developed the first vertically integrated film studio model in India. We combined premium content production and acquisition abilities with best-in-class international distribution reach. Over the last decade we have witnessed many of the major Hollywood studios make their entries into India. It is a testament to our content offering, brand strength and people that we have been able to maintain and grow our market share in the face of this competition.

We are also proud to have one the deepest and richest Indian content libraries in the world. Over the last 10 years Eros has been responsible for 30 of the top 100 highest grossing box office films in India. We must not forget that even in the digital age, premium content is still immensely valuable. Our industry relationships spanning over 40 years allow us access to the best talent across the nation. Our library is constantly evolving and replenished every year with new and innovative content that appeals to all consumers.

We continue to focus on appropriate budget films promising high IRR’s based on our unique portfolio approach. As we increase production across genres and languages, the stories we tell are driven and backed by pre-sale potential with reduced reliance on box office success. The real star of today is the story being told on screen. We are especially excited about our upcoming theatrical slate this year, in addition to our upcoming slate of Eros Now original releases. Our content partnership with Reliance, new venture with V. Vijayendra Prasad and continued relationship with Aanand Rai are all instrumental to our future and will be keys to our success.”

Rishika Lulla, Chief Executive Officer, Eros Digital who received the award for ‘Women leadership in Industry’ at the Times National Awards for Marketing Excellence, commented:

“The continued strength of our digital entertainment offering was once again a significant driving force behind our solid start to Fiscal 2019. With our diversified and unparalleled library we continue to see growing consumer appetite for compelling content. We are excited to have the largest paying and registered users, beating our own target of 2 million every quarter to be at 10.1 million paying subs this quarter. Our new partnership with InMobi will also allow us to start monetising our 113 million plus registered user base while still being an SVOD model. Living up to our core philosophy of innovative and non-intrusive ad formats, we will also be experimenting with new concepts such as allowing brands to engage seamlessly with branded and high quality digital content.

We truly believe that Eros Now’s extensive content bouquet will satisfy the insatiable appetite of our audiences and further enhance our commitment to be the source of entertainment with penetration in 100 cities across India. This is a significant expansion and with the best talent on board in our industry for movies and originals, we aim to capture an even larger audience with our upcoming star studded ‘Originals’ slate starting with ‘Side Hero’, the first ever Indian original comedy-drama featuring Kunal Roy Kapoor and directed by Rohan Sippy.

India is undergoing a digital revolution which is further fuelled by Reliance Giga venture and other telcos bringing consumers a seamless connectivity experience, where Indian OTT players are now leaving no stone unturned to lure the viewers to sign up. Eros Now with its matchless proposition of 52 weeks of 52 premiers across genre and languages is uniquely positioned to execute a wide distribution strategy with a library of over 11,000 films spread across over nine Indian languages. According to our proprietary data, the longest content format is the most engaging where the best movies on Eros Now gets viewed in less than two sessions and an engaged viewer returns at least three times a week, spending a minimum of 40 Minutes, making it safe to say that Eros Now is the best engagement platform.”

Prem Parameswaran, Group Chief Financial Officer and President of North America, also commented:

“I am pleased with our first quarter performance, highlighted by strong margin expansion, continued balance sheet strength and solid subscriber additions out of our Eros Now business. We believe the Company is now firing on all cylinders as our Adjusted EBITDA growth and margin expansion is at 21.5% and 587 bps respectively. This coupled with our conservative balance sheet with net debt leverage ratio of 2.28x has us poised for growth in the coming fiscal year.

Having reached over 10.1 million paying subscribers in Eros Now through the end of the First Quarter, we are confident in continuing to grow our subscriber base over the next few years, especially given our premium content offering coupled with the large Indian and global market opportunities.”

Business Outlook

Eros has a compelling film slate planned for the rest of Fiscal Year 2019, including films such as Çolor Yellow Productions “Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi”, Anurag Kashyap’s “Manmarziyan”, Namaste England (Overseas), Helicopter Eela (Overseas), trilingual “Haathi mere Saathi.” Eros looks forward to releasing Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Punjabi, and Malayalam films during the year. Eros’ first Indo-China film is starting production next year. The Company is currently in pre-production, completing the writing and casting developments.

Eros Now

Partnerships & Developments:

Eros Now, in association with Dab Gaming Ltd, launched Eros Now Betz, a unique app created for millions of football lovers globally. The app allows users to be a part of the on-going matches and experience victory as their teams also win along. This association also offered Eros Now Betz’s users the accessibility to Eros Now’s unparalleled movie library of 11,000 plus films, free for a period of one month. Eros Now announced a strategic partnership with Xiaomi Mi TV, enhancing Eros Now’s distribution to the larger screen in India and then across Asia. Eros Now is now available within Patchwall on all Mi TVs sold in India, giving all users access to its compelling bouquet of Bollywood and regional language films, entertainment shows, music videos and originals. Eros Now partnered with Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata, for best in regional content allowing users to seamlessly browse through over 20,000 hours of original Indian content in over 10 languages. Available via the Dialog ViU app, Eros Now gives subscribers access to a high-quality content library which comprises of over 11,000 plus movies with multi language subtitles, originals, music and entertainment shows in High Definition (HD). With a base of over 113 million registered users, Eros’ partnership with InMobi will enable brands to advertise to their target audiences through Eros Now for the first time. Over 95% viewership on the platform belongs to the core target audience (M/F 18-30). Eros Now reinforced its mission of non-stop entertainment, anytime, anywhere with one-of-a-kind brand campaign ‘Bolo Kya Dekhogey.’ The campaign, which rolled out three television commercials, reiterated Eros Now’s leadership position in the movie category, offering its extensive movie library across languages. Eros Now is engaged with the best social media fan base in the country, with less than 1% dropout from Instagram and Facebook traffic driven to the platform. Eros Now announced a partnership with Gold’s Gym in India, offering Gold’s Gym members a 60% discount on Eros Now’s annual subscription. The partnership offers Gold’s Gym’s 134 fully equipped gyms across 85 cities in India. Eros Now successfully closed multiple marketing partnerships with Natures Basket, Voonik and Paytm (Kicking off a 70% cash back offer).

Content:

This quarter Eros Now successfully premiered 11 movies across five Indian languages: Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telegu and Gujarati. Eros continues to invest in a diverse range of content to fulfill penetration across 100 cities in India.

Eros successfully premiered India’s first straight-to-digital film, Anand L Rai’s first Eros Now original Meri Nimmo, on the platform and is excited for its slate of originals that are being produced internally in partnership with the best talent. Global concepts that will entertain audiences are being produced internally. A selection of upcoming titles includes:

Side Hero with Rohan Sippy: Featuring Kunaal Roy Kapur as a fictionalised version of himself – the less successful younger brother of a hotshot Bollywood producer and star – this comedy-drama follows Kunaal trying to land a leading role in a bid to prove that his profession of acting is not just a ‘hobby.’ (Target release September 2018) Smoke: An unflinching look at the politics within the drug mafia that resides in the intoxicant riddled underbelly of its tropical paradise, Goa. Smoke is led by an all-star cast including Jim Sarbh, Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin, Mandira Bedi, Tom Alter amongst others. (Target release October 2018) Dashavatar with Anirudh Pathak: When mankind became corrupt and greedy, Vishnu, the protector of the realms, incarnated to vanquish evil and save the world. Dashavatar tells this fascinating story of Vishnu’s reincarnations. (Target release December 2018/January 2019) Ponnyin Selvin with Krish Jagarlamudi: A multi-seasonal, multi-lingual show based on the famous Tamil novels. Written in five volumes, Ponniyin Selvan narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman – later crowned as Rajaraja Chola I - one of the kings of the Chola Dynasty, during the 10th and 11th centuries. (Target release March 2019) Flesh with Siddharth Anand: An eight-year-old girl goes missing and her NRI parents are forced to seek the help of a suspended female cop in their search for her. An ex-human trafficker is blackmailed to join the search or else risk his sinful past catching with him. (Target release March 2019) Mrityulok with Zeishan Qadri: A story that shows a mirror to the ruthless, selfish face of the society and how we all are culprits in a system that offers no incentive to “be good”. (Target release March 2019) Bhumi with Pavan Kripilani: A survival thriller set in a dystopian version of Delhi which begs the question, how far is our reality from this supposedly fictional dystopia? (Target Release April 2019) Crisis with Nikhil Advani and Gaurav Chawla: On the day of his 50 th birthday, Dr Gopichand Wadhwani – one of India’s top cardiologists – decides to follow his childhood dream and become a rapper. Crisis is a story of two generations coming together to help each other get from life what they want. (Target Release May 2019) Sanyasi Raja with Prakash Jha: A fictional depiction of the infamous Bhawal case of West Bengal, in which a possible imposter claimed to be the prince of Bhawal, who was at that point presumed dead for over a decade. (Target release June 2019) Kurukshetra : The tribals thought they were Gods. The army thought they were militants. What they turn out to be, are five children with ‘superpowers’ emerging from a genetic mutation. And with destinies that, almost uncannily, resemble the trajectory of the Mahabharata. (Target release TBD) Blue Oak Academy : A teen-drama thriller that follows one young boy’s quest to exact revenge with the most prestigious academic institution of the nation. (Target release June 2019)

Apart from this, Eros also has a selection of upcoming short form content and short film anthologies to accompany this slate.

Theatrical Release Slate

Eros has a solid stable of upcoming theatrical releases covering many genres and regional languages. Selected key titles include:

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