Global internet group Naspers said it delivered a strong financial performance for the six months ending September 2021, growing e-commerce revenues by 52%, while continuing to make investments to further accelerate growth across its portfolio.
E-commerce revenue growth accelerated, up 52% to $4.6 billion, while the group pointed to a figure of $5.2 billion invested since 1 April 2021.
Core headline earnings per share grew 11% to 416 US cents, while the group reported a 9% increase in trading profit to $2.9 billion.
“In the first half of the year, our internet businesses delivered solid growth compounding a strong performance for the same period last year.
“Our progress is reflected in the increasing value attributed to our e-commerce portfolio and, to capture the significant opportunity ahead, we stepped up investment in our core segments of Food Delivery, Edtech, Payments and Fintech, and Classifieds,” said Bob van Dijk, Group CEO, Prosus and Naspers.
“Naspers companies now serve more than two billion customers and we continue to build innovative products that make a difference in people’s lives.”
South African businesses
The Takealot Group – comprising Takealot.com, Mr D Food, and Superbalist – continued to benefit from the shift to online, Naspers said. The group grew revenues by 36%, while trading losses decreased to near breakeven with a trading loss of $2 million (R31 million).
Mr D Food, delivered strong results with order volumes growing 88% as consumer spending shifted from restaurant dining to online delivery, Naspers said. Superbalist grew revenue and trading margins despite increasing competition from brick-and-mortar fashion retailers.
In June, the group reported annual results for the year ended March 2021, showing that the Takealot Group grew revenue by 65% to $606 million (R9.5 billion).
Media24 increased revenue by 29% and delivered a trading profit of $9 million (R141 million).
“This turnaround performance to profitability against the prior year’s losses was underpinned by continued strong growth in digital subscribers and advertising, print media recovering much better than expected, excellent school textbook orders, the boom in e-commerce fulfilment, and sustained growth in external media logistics revenue – supported by the leaner cost base established in 2020,” it said.
Media24 controls Naspers’ newspaper and magazine Southern African publishing and printing activities, including Internet publishing of the 24.com collection of web portals.
Naspers Foundry, in the first half of this financial year, has invested nearly R200 million into three tech companies: mobility technology company WhereIsMyTransport (R42 million); the digital insurance advice platform Ctrl (R34 million); and South Africa’s first fully digital insurance platform, Naked (R120 million).
These three investments take the Naspers Foundry portfolio to seven companies with a combined investment of around R400 million since its launch in 2019.
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO, South Africa, said: “We see tremendous opportunity for technology to drive inclusive economic growth and increased economic participation in South Africa.
Through Naspers Foundry, Naspers Labs and the Naspers Bursary programme, we are increasing the economic participation of the country’s historically disadvantaged communities and boosting South Africa’s nascent but vibrant tech ecosystem.
“Our investments are supporting South Africa’s digital transformation, fostering innovation, and equipping the next generation with the skills they require to help the country become a world-class investment destination.”