Nation Media Group (NMG) has announced audited results for the year ended 31 December 2017. The Group reported a drop in its performance attributed to reduced revenue from advertising and delayed payments from regional governments. However, the Group maintained its total dividend payout of Sh10.
“The past year was definitely a very difficult year for many businesses not just for the media but across the board,” Wilfred Kiboro, the company chairman said. “We are happy to maintain that dividend because we think we have a strong cash position and we do think that cash rightfully belongs to the shareholders.”
“The amount of money the Kenyan government owes the media industry is now getting out of hand. I think for Nation Media Group, it has ballooned to Sh700 million,” he added.
The Group controlled the effects of the harsh business environment on its performance through reorganising operations and maintaining cost management initiatives.
The Financial Results
The Group reported a 17.4 percent decline in net earnings to Sh1.4 billion after a one-off severance pay of Sh259 million after employee reorganisation. The Group also reported a 6.2 percent turnover decrease to Sh10.6 billion.
NMG recorded Sh6.9 earnings per share compared to Sh8.9 the previous year while the dividends per share remained at Sh10.
The directors recommended a final dividend of Sh7.50 which together with the interim dividend of Sh2.50 paid on September 30, 2017, makes a total of Sh10.
“The dividend will be paid less withholding tax where applicable on or about 31 July 2018 to shareholders registered on the Register of members at the close of business on 14 June 2018. The register of members will be closed from 18 to 22 June 2018, both dates inclusive,” the Group says in a notice.
NTV Kenya recorded a 12 percent revenue growth while the revenue from NTV Uganda increased by 5 percent. Additionally, the Group’s digital business contribution to the operating income increased from 1.5 percent in 2015 to four percent in 2017.
The circulation and online readership of lifestyle magazine KenyaBuzz increased more than two-fold. NMG acquired a 51 percent stake in the magazine in 2015. However, NMG’s newspapers posted a drop in revenue and operating income. These newspapers include Business Daily, The East African, Daily Nation, Tanzania’s Citizen, and Mwananchi.
The Future Plans
Last year, the Group introduced innovative products such as KenyaBuzz ticketing, a new SMS-based prize competition called Angukia Chapaa, Nation News App, Nation chatbot, a health magazine in the Daily Nation, and Apple news format.
“We will diversify our revenue streams while protecting our legacy income, which is our cash cow,” Mr Gitagama, acting Group CEO said.
The Group expects better performance in 2018 where it will get more revenue from new revenue streams and where regional economies will perform better.