, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The Nation Media Group (NMG) has announced a 30.4 percent jump in net profit for 2011, reporting a pre-tax profit of Sh2.8 billion, thanks to higher newspaper sales and advertising revenue.
Total revenue grew 18 percent to just over Sh11 billion and Chairman Wilfred Kiboro also credited the performance to revenue growth and market share gains as well as major contributions by its regional subsidiaries.
“Our strategy of diversifying not only in the product offering but also in geography, which we embarked on about ten years ago, is clearly paying off,” he said.
“We’re no longer just dependent on Kenya for our profits and these kinds of investments make sure that our profitability is now sustainable,” he added.
Despite the uncertainties in both the local and global economies, NMG says its outlook for the year remains bright as they plan to invest heavily into digital media in an attempt to reach a larger demographic of the Kenyan population.
“Migration to digital technology in the near future will provide further opportunities for our customers to enjoy a wide choice of the kind of products that we’ll have,” Kiboro acknowledged.
“We will be looking at opportunities to invest in this area and Nation Media Group is looking at how we can engage and take advantage of this new technology to serve our markets better,” he revealed.
Thanks to the rise in circulation and advertising income, Kiboro said that the company expects double digit revenue and growth over the next two years.
In addition to its publications and media stations in Kenya, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer Linus Gitahi confirmed that they have expanded their media presence in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, while introducing new products into the Kenyan market such as the Swahili sports paper Mwanaspoti and the Swahili radio station QFM.
The company saw a significant growth in its digital division and Gitahi revealed that they’re planning to launch a web-based money transfer service targeted at users of its website, which receives 30 million hits a month.
He said he didn’t anticipate newsprint prices to rise sharply this year, adding that despite the push into the digital market, newspapers remain a key part of the business.
“Our circulation has grown significantly and this is something we don’t take for granted because newspapers around the world are struggling,” he noted.
The board of directors has recommended a final dividend payout of Sh6.50 per share as ordinary dividends have risen 45.5 percent from Sh5.50 to Sh8.00 per share.
The company will hold its Annual General Meeting at the Kenyatta International Conference amphitheatre on Friday April 27 beginning at 2pm.