Media group Naspers released strong results today – for the year to March. Revenue was up by 27%, and core headline earnings a share grew 23%. Internet and pay TV are performing well, while the print media section of the business is fairly stagnant. What do our experts make of it all?
Jacques Theron from Absa Investments:
All the divisions or associates performed well, with revenue from the internet business outperforming pay TV revenue, for the first time in the company’s history. The weaker rand also contributed kindly to this outperformance of the internet business. Pay TV revenue increased by 20% to R30.3bn while Internet revenues increased by 80% to R34.6bn. Future focus will be to expand the pay TV subscriber base and growing the e-commerce offering across emerging markets. We rate the management team very highly as their track record remains impeccable, where Naspers remains a core holding in our portfolios.
Independent analyst Ian Cruickshanks:
Naspers continued lead in media/technology sector in the year to 31 March 2013 with revenue gain of 27%, core heps up 20% and 15% dividend raise. Impressive 80% rise in internet revenue on strong advances in China’s Ten Cent and Russia’s Mail.ru. Development expenditure up 80% as company seeks to continue acquisitive strategy in emerging markets. Stake in Facebook sold, realising significant capital profit – demonstrating decision not to hold onto overvalued assets. Despite permanent high stock price Naspers remains an essential core holding in long term balanced portfolios.
Duncan McLeod from Tech Central :
I think these numbers show that Naspers has really outgrown its origins as a print media business. Its Internet businesses — especially Tencent — are delivering incredible revenue growth and, with the exception of the e-commerce segment, which is still in development, in earnings growth, too. The pay-TV business continues to do well, too, thanks to its entrenched position in the South African market and its efforts to expand pay TV elsewhere in Africa, both through the DStv satellite service and through its GOtv digital terrestrial television offering.
Naspers continues to be run by a dynamic, thoughtful and impressive CEO and continues to shift its focus from its traditional business into high tech products which have a more secure and lucrative future, and continue to offer exceptional growth prospects.
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