SA Naspers posts marginal 1% full-year earnings growth as investments surge 79% [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) South Africa-based multinational media and e-commerce group Naspers said its core headline earnings for the fiscal year to end-March 2014 edged up 1% y/y to ZAR 8.6bn (USD 807.5mn), constrained by a surge in investment costs. The company reported development spending of RZA 7.7bn for the 2014 fiscal year, up 79% y/y. It said that these costs, targeted mainly at expansion of its ecommerce and DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) businesses, had the effect of limiting core earnings, but helped boost consolidated revenue by 26% y/y to ZAR 62.7bn. Naspers considers core headline earnings as the most reliable indicator of sustainable operating performance
Revenue growth was driven by both the internet and pay-television businesses, but was also backed by the depreciation of the rand, by 19% on average, against a basket of the company's main operating currencies.
Naspers said its internet business recorded a 65% y/y growth in revenues to ZAR 57bn and an 8% rise in trading profit to ZAR 6.6bn. It noted that it is rapidly transforming its internet activities into mobile-focused operations.
The group's pay-TV business reported revenue growth of 20% to ZAR 36.3b and a 13% rise in trading profit to ZAR 8.5bn. Subscriber numbers rose by 1.3mn households, taking the base to over 8mn homes across 50 sub-Saharan African countries. DTT coverage has been expanded to cover eight countries and 92 cities.
Naspers has transformed itself from an apartheid-era newspaper publisher to a global multimedia business by taking stakes in emerging-market Internet companies such as Tencent and Mail.ru. The company said its share of equity-accounted results includes one-off gains of ZAR 2.9bn flowing from Mail.ru's sale of shares in Facebook and Qiwi, as well as gains from Tencent's merger of some of its ecommerce businesses with JD.com and the sale of its interest in ChinaVision. These gains, being non-recurring, have been excluded from core headline earnings.
(c) 2014 Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings LLC Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
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