VENTURES AFRICA – South Africa’s publicly listed media and e-commerce firm, Naspers has posted a 15 percent full-year earnings profit on Wednesday. According to the official announcement, the company’s profit was boosted by trajectory growth in e-commerce business.
Naspers started as a Cape Town-based newspaper during the apartheid era, growing to become an international multimedia enterprise that buys and takes stakes in budding internet marketing companies such as China’s Tencent and Russia’s Mail.ru.
The company’s management sees core headline earnings as the most accurate measure of Naspers’ earnings. Naspers has recorded growth in its core headline earnings per share – an index that has risen to 1.850 cents from 1.612 cents in the year to end-March 2011.
The company also said its earnings would rise by about 20 percent; this is in addition to its revenue which has increased to R39.5 billion ($5 billion) from R33.09 billion in 2011 ($4 billion).
Naspers is not relenting in its expansion plans which according to the company, will now focus on growing organically, and developing new technologies. However, it is not unaware of the current spate of inflation in internet valuations which necessitate the need for courteous actions in future transactions.
Naspers recently bought stakes in Polish e-commerce firm MIH Allegro and Buscape, a price-comparison site.
Likewise, the company has massively invested in its internet and pay television division although the company’s shareholders are demanding investments that yield profits sooner than the company’s current investments.
In a move to appease its investors, the company has decided to pay a better-than-expected dividend by hiking its annual dividend by 24 percent to 335 cents ($0.40) per share – a hike that surpasses Reuters’ 9 analysts poll forecast of 334 cents ($0.39).
At the stock exchange, Naspers’ share price has risen nearly 30 percent in 2012 and currently, it is trading at 46 times full-year earnings – nearly quadruple the average of 12.05 times for Johannesburg’s Top 40 – (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index of blue chips.