National

NMG posts Shs100b in profits

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By MUGAMBI MUTEGI

Posted  Thursday, March 20   2014 at  21:54
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Nairobi.

The Nation Media Group (NMG) yesterday announced a 20 per cent rise in its dividend pay-out after it reported a Ksh3.6 billion (Shs102b) profit before tax for the year ended December 2013.

Chief executive Linus Gitahi told investors that NMG’s profit before tax grew by 2.4 per cent to Ksh3.6 billion riding on an 8.3 per cent revenue growth to Ksh13.4 billion (Shs380b).

That outcome enabled NMG directors to recommend a dividend payment of Ksh10 (Shs284) per share, meaning that the media house will pay out a total of Ksh1.9 billion (Shs53.9b) to shareholders.

Though the dividend per share has been kept at the same level as the previous year’s, the company is paying Ksh314m (Shs9b) more to shareholders in real terms having issued a bonus of one share for every five held in 2013.

“We are confident about the company’s performance and that is why we are keeping the dividend at Ksh10 per share. However, the total cash payment to shareholders has actually increased by 20 per cent,” Mr Gitahi said.
Shareholder funds grew from Ksh7.3 billion to Ksh8.2 billion in the reporting period - a margin of 12 per cent while the company’s cash pile stood at Ksh4.1 billion.

NMG’s share price stood at Ksh323 at the close of trading yesterday. This means that the share price has appreciated by 35.7 per cent in the year to date, making it one of the most sought-after stocks at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

“Despite the impact of the general election and the recently introduced VAT, the underlying individual businesses did very well,” Mr Gitahi said.
Mr Gitahi paid special mention to the performance of Nairobi News, the latest addition to the company’s newspaper portfolio.

While the circulation of the print version is growing, their new newspaper’s website is already recording 500,000 unique hits per month.
This good growth is in step with that realised by the group’s digital division where online advertising went up 27 per cent.

“We are investing heavily in the digital division since we know it is the next frontier,” said Mr Gitahi.
Going forward, he said the company will remain focused on innovating as well as improving its products already in the market.

The CEO also reiterated that the company fully supported digital migration and expects to benefit from increased footprint for its two television stations; NTV and QTV. In Uganda, the company operates NTV Uganda while its subsidiary, Monitor Publications, publishes the Daily Monitor newspaper, the Monitor Telephone Directory, operates KFM and Dembe FM.

drivers of success
NMG’s performance was driven by robust outcome in a number of business units led by its Kiswahili TV channel QTV whose revenue expanded by 117 per cent and 54 per cent operating profit growth.

The Business Daily posted a 51 per cent operating profit growth even as circulation and advertising revenue increased 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Tanzania’s Mwananchi Communications operating profit grew by 29 per cent while advertising revenue at Nation Newspaper’s division grew 12 per cent.