While still one of the largest companies in South Africa, internet and media group Naspers has also begun to shine on the global stage, thanks to a strong acquisition strategy.
Naspers now derives as much as 84% of revenues from outside South Africa, up from 80% a year ago.
The group made big plays in the online food delivery industry by investing a combined $1.4 billion in Germany based firm Delivery Hero, and India based startup Swiggy.
Locally, the group invested $74 million in Takealot, in April, and followed this with another $128-million investment in December 2017.
Through these two investments, totalling $202 million, Naspers now owns an effective stake of 96% in Takealot.
The company made an additional four investments in various startup business during 2017.
The group last week announced its financial results for the year ended March 2018, showing a 9% rise in consolidated revenue to $6.66 billion, “as e-commerce continued to scale”.
It said that e-commerce revenues grew 15% or 32% in local currency and adjusted for the impact of acquisitions and disposals – including Allegro and Netretail.
Revenues, measured on an economic interest basis (including the proportionate contribution from associates and joint ventures), increased 38% year on year to $20.1 billion. Core headline earnings grew 72% to $2.5 billion, Naspers said.
The group said it reduced its operating loss to US$198 million from a prior loss of US$360 million, however profit for the year soared to $11.3 billion, from $2.16 billion, due to the disposal of a 2% interest in Tencent Holdings.
Naspers said that a diversified business mix is an ongoing shift. “Diversity of revenue streams reduce the risk of exposure to any one territory/currency or business model”.
Annuity income – subscription revenues, IVAS and gaming – accounted for 55% of revenues, while advertising revenue is only 13% of total revenue, the group said.