Naspers shares gain 2.5% amid higher dividends

Shares in media group, Naspers advanced 2.50%, or R11.38, to R466.50 in midday trade on the JSE on Wednesday (27 June) after group announced positive full-year numbers.

The All Share Index was trading 0.41% lower to 33,713 points.

Naspers reported a 19% rise in consolidated revenues for the year ended March 2012, to R39.5 billion, buoyed by its internet businesses, where revenues jumped 59%.

Operating profit however, declined to R3.202 billion from R4.056 billion, due mainly to accelerated consolidated development costs which ballooned to R2.8 billion from R1.5 billion in 2011.

Total core headline earnings were R6.9 billion – an increase of 15% on the prior year.  It reported a 16% rise in fully diluted headline earnings per share to R12.54 for the year ended March 2012‚ from R10.82 a year ago.

The group’s board recommended that the annual gross dividend be increased by 24% to 335 cents per listed N ordinary share, and 67 cents (previously 54 cents) per unlisted A ordinary share.

A local dealer told BusinessTech that the group’s results came in ahead of market expectations. “Naspers appears to be doing the right things. Investors liked the increase in dividends, they have made some decent acquisitions in a buoyant space, and signs are positive that they will continue in that vein, looking forward,” he said.

Shares in the group have gained more than 30% since the start of the year, from a value of R354.45, and a value of R371 a year ago.

In April 2011 the group acquired an 85% interest in 7Pixel, an e-commerce group operating in Western Europe. The fair value of the total purchase consideration was R228 million (US$35m) in cash.

In July 2011, it acquired an 80% interest in Vipindirim Electronic Services plc (Markafoni), a Turkish e-commerce group. The fair value of the total purchase consideration was R672 million (US$95m) in cash.  It also acquired 100% interest in Slando Limited, an online classifieds company in the Ukraine. The fair value of the total purchase consideration was R195m (US$29m) in cash.

In December 2011, Naspers acquired a 90% interest in Fashion Days, an e-commerce group operating in several eastern European countries. The fair value of the total purchase consideration was R435 million (US$54m) in cash.

It also has a stake in China based firm, Tencent, and Russia based Mail.ru. Naspers said its share of Tencent’s revenues grew by 59% to R11.5 billion and core headline earnings were up 38% to R4.4 billion, while its Russian interest posted revenues of R1.1 billion respectively.

Naspers has a market cap of approximately R192 billion.

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Naspers shares gain 2.5% amid higher dividends