Sun TV's Kalanithi Maran, wife Kavery highest-paid executives in FY20

Kalanithi Maran, who founded the company in 1993, is the executive chairman of Sun TV, while his wife Kavery Kalanithi is the executive director
Sun TV's promoters Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kavery Kalanithi Maran continued to be the highest paid executives in the country in 2019-20. The couple took Rs 175 crore in 2019-20.

Kalanithi Maran, who founded the company in 1993, is the executive chairman of Sun TV, while his wife Kavery Kalanithi is the executive director. The couple took a salary of Rs 13.87 crore and Rs 73.63 crore as ex-gratia/ bonus each in 2019-20, aggregating to Rs 87.50 crore each.

The owners had decided to keep their salaries at the current level three years ago.

Mukesh Ambani kept his annual salary from his flagship firm Reliance Industries capped at Rs 15 crore for twelfth year on the trot in the fiscal ended March 31 and decided to forego the entire remuneration from the current year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ambani has kept salary, perquisites, allowances and commission together at Rs 15 crore since 2008-09, forgoing over Rs 24 crore per annum. RIL's non-executive directors, including Nita Ambani, got Rs 1.15 crore each as commission, besides sitting fees. The commission is lower than Rs 1.65 crore paid in the previous fiscal. The commission was Rs 1.5 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1.3 crore in the year prior to that.

The other highest paid executives of Sun TV are its Managing Director R Mahesh Kumar who took Rs 1.78 crore, including salary of Rs 1.16 crore and Rs 0.62 crore as ex-gratia/ bonus, followed by Maran's daughter and company's executive director Kaviya Kalanithi Maran, who took Rs 1.22 crore, including a salary of Rs 0.80 crore and Rs 0.42 crore as ex-gratia/ bonus.

Sun TV's standalone total income was Rs 3,653.35 crore in 2019-20 as against Rs 3,883.22 crore. Profit before tax was Rs 1,797.88 crore as against Rs 2,135.94 crore.

Outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown has impacted the regular business operations of the company.

Company expects that the revenue for the company arising from the increased DTH subscriber base in South India would maintain a positive momentum in the coming years. This may be achieved by the drive initiated or to be initiated by the government towards digitalization and addressability for cable television which would help Sun TV Network, being the largest regional television network, to be one of the major beneficiaries of the recent growth in the DTH space.

Recently, the management during the investors call said that revenues are close to 75 per cent of the pre-Covid levels.

Speaking to investors recently, S L Narayanan, Group CFO, Sun TV Network said, “if you look at July and the fill levels in August are pretty encouraging. I think we can just say approximately, we are close to 75% of the pre-Covid levels in terms of the revenues. So if things stabilise and if the market really opens up, we are very confident of what we have committed to you, that I think in terms of overall decline, it could be restricted to 15-20 per cent."

In some of the markets, especially Tamil Nadu, the retail segment has not really opened up, which is a significant contributor to the revenue. FMCG continues to be a significant contributor in terms of the overall revenue factor at around 55 per cent.

Subscription revenue in Q1 grew by 18 per cent to Rs.442.25 crore from Rs 375.95 crore, a year ago. “It is really going to be the saving grace for this year,” said Narayanan, adding that Sun will continue to invest in content to increase the subscription revenues at a very high level. There is substantial headroom to raise prices in the subscription business.
Company's net cash rose to Rs 3,000 crore in June from about Rs 2,800 crore in March.

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