Naspers full year results ended 31 March 2009

Naspers Limited (JSE: NPN) today announced its results for the financial year ended 31 March 2009.


Naspers today reported a 30% increase in revenue to R26,7 billion for the financial year to 31 March 2009. Main drivers included the resilience of its internet and pay-television operations.

Operating profit (before amortisation and other gains and losses) was affected by the cost of growing the pay-TV subscriber base, but nonetheless advanced 21% to R4,4 billion.

Core headline earnings grew marginally to R4,4 billion or R11,79 per share. The board recommended a 15% dividend increase to 207 cents per share.

“Our recent internet acquisitions delivered admirable results given the challenging economic climate,” Naspers chairman Ton Vosloo said. “We are equally pleased with our associates’ contribution.”

The pay-television business recorded growth of 683 000 new gross subscribers. The group now reaches some 3,3 million homes across Africa, a 26% increase.

The internet segment grew revenue by 136%, boosted by the inclusion of e-commerce units Allegro and Ricardo.

Naspers’ share of income from associates, including Tencent in China, Mail.ru in Russia and Abril in Brazil, doubled to R1,5 billion.

Print media in South Africa experienced steady circulation across most emerging market titles but delivered subdued revenue growth of only 6%, mainly due to a downturn in advertising. As advertising comprises 16% of the group’s total revenue base, the downturn had a limited impact on aggregate results.

During the year Naspers sold its pay-television businesses in Greece and Cyprus for R4,3 billion. The disposal of MWEB Africa to Telkom for R520 million was concluded after the year-end.

“Looking ahead, we will continue our growth strategy,” Naspers CEO Koos Bekker said. ‘‘New internet investments will be considered where opportunities arise, especially where they complement existing operations.”

Naspers financial director Steve Pacak said the group should continue to benefit from diversified revenue streams generated by resilient businesses across various emerging markets. However, he cautioned that pay-TV competition and added regulation, as well as slower consumer spending, could impact in the year ahead.