Naspers sees earnings up to 20% higher

JSE-listed media and internet firm Naspers, says its expects core headline earnings per share for the interim period ended September 2013, to be between 10% and 20% higher than R10.73 in 2012.

Shares in Naspers  slipped 1% or nearly R10 to R933 in late trade on the JSE on Friday (15 September), having closed out Thursday 4.35% firmer following a 5% jump in Tencent shares in Hong Kong as investors applauded a 35% rise in the Chinese firm’s online gaming revenue in the third quarter.

Naspers said it expects that earnings per share for the six months to September 2013 will be between 20% and 30% lower compared to the prior period’s R10.79, mainly as a
consequence of a non-recurring profit in the previous period when Mail.ru sold some
of its shares in Facebook, as well as impairment charges.

While Naspers did not own a direct stake in Facebook, it had an indirect investment in the social networking company through Russian Internet company, Mail.Ru, which owned the shares.

Naspers is a minority shareholder in Mail.Ru, with a 29% stake in the Russian firm which, had previously held 14.2 million shares in Facebook.

The South African internet giant was able to sell one third of its stake in Facebook when the social company listed in May 2012.

Mail.ru dropped its shares in the social network giant for $525 million (R5.38 billion).

Headline earnings per share for the period are expected to be between 5% and 15%
higher than the prior period’s 830 cents.

Naspers pointed out that it considers core headline earnings an appropriate indicator of the sustainable operating performance of the group, as it adjusts for non-recurring and non-operational items.

For the interim period in 2012, Naspers reported consolidated revenue of R23 billion.

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Naspers sees earnings up to 20% higher