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NMG posts rise in profit

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – Nation Media Group (NMG) has posted a 51.6 percent jump in pre-tax profit for the six months to June 2010.

The group reported an increase to Sh891.6 million from Sh588.2 million posted in the corresponding period of 2009.

Releasing the results to investors, NMG Group Chief Executive Officer Linus Gitahi attributed the good performance to improved revenue as well as a rise in turnover.

During the period under review, turnover rose 17.3 percent to Sh4.4 billion while Nation Newspapers Division revenues grew by 14 percent.

Despite raising concern over the future of newspapers, Mr Gitahi exuded confidence that print publications had a future in the Kenyan market.

“I see the newspapers being important in our lives for the foreseeable future. While they might be struggling in America, they are recording double-digit growth in Latin America. That tells me other factors constant there is no reason we should not continue seeing growth in Africa,” he said.

NMG which also runs a number of operations in East Africa reported improved performance in its subsidiaries.

Revenues for the Monitor Publication in Uganda grew five percent while NTV Uganda saw revenues rise by 60 percent, while operating profit jumped by 150 percent.

The script was similar in Tanzania with the Mwananchi Publication performed with advertising revenue rising 29 percent as operating profit advanced by 128 percent.

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Mr Gitahi told investors the group plans to cross-list on the region’s stock exchanges to mark its regional presence. NMG intends to list its shares in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

“We are truly an East African business with solid business in Uganda and Tanzania and we hope to complete this by the end of the year,” he said.

Mr Gitahi also revealed the group plans to invest considerably in its digital media business as it looks to become an all-round news company.

“We appreciate this is where media is going and we want to engage a lot more over the Internet,” he said.

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