Naspers full year results ended 31 March 2013

Naspers today reported a 27% increase in consolidated revenue to R50,2bn for the year ended March 2013. Core headline earnings, considered by the board to be an indication of sustainable performance, were up 23% on the previous year to R8,5bn or R22,16 per share. Approximately half of this growth was due to a weaker rand. The growth in earnings was achieved despite investing R4,3bn to grow new businesses for the longer-term. Positive free cash flows amounted to R3,5bn. A dividend increase of 15% to R3,85 is proposed.

“The group posted a solid performance over the past year,” Naspers’ chair Ton Vosloo said. “We reached a milestone as revenues from our internet units exceeded that of pay television for the first time."

Internet revenues grew 80% to R34,6bn. Due to costs of developing ecommerce products and services, trading profits increased at a slower rate of 44% to R6,2bn.

The pay-television business reported revenue growth of 20% to R30,3bn. Some 1,1m new subscribers were added during the year and the group now reaches 6,7m homes in 48 markets across Africa. The 18% growth in trading profit to R7,6bn was somewhat weighed down by the increased investment in digital terrestrial television (DTT) and by creating more local content for viewers.

It was a tough year for the print operations. Media24 reported only marginal top line and profit growth, but launched several new initiatives.

Naspers’ share of core earnings from associates, including Tencent in China andMail.ru Group in Russia, increased by 45% to R7,2bn.

“We hope to expand our ecommerce businesses across more emerging markets. Alsoto build our pay-television subscriber base on the African continent,” Naspers CEOKoos Bekker said.

Naspers financial director Steve Pacak added: “We want to build our existing businesses,whilst investing in future growth. We know this strategy will mute both short-term earningsand cash flows.”