Broadcasting group eMedia Holdings, has published results for the six months ended September 2018, showing a 5.3% increase in revenue to R1.2 billion despite the tough economic conditions.
The company owns e.tv and 24-hour news channel eNCA, along with free-to-air satellite television platform, OpenView.
Operating profit improved to R85.38 million, from R52 million before, while profit from continuing operations rose 158.3% to R48.4 million. Included in that profit is the sale of Da Vinci Media, for R11.4 million.
The loss from discontinued operations amounted to R29.5 million resulting in the profit for the period ending on R18.9 million compared to a loss of R700,000 in the prior period.
Included in the profit are the losses attributable to the continued investment into the multi-channel business (OpenView and e.tv multichannel) of R84.3 million compared to R117.3 million in the prior year.
Box activations continued on a steady growth path, with 1,432,521 boxes activated, compared to 1,008,114 boxes during the prior period, the group said.
Headline earnings per share increased to 3.34 cents per share, versus a prior loss of 0.55 cents per share.
The six-month period saw the market share of e.tv remain fairly constant, but it increased a key revenue driver – LSM 8 to 9 – from 11.80% market share to 13.90% market share. e.tv’s advertising revenue however, recorded a slight decrease year on year.
Programming and other cost of sales decreased by 12% from R326 million to R285.6 million. “Management is re-looking at the schedule in order to maximise slots that are currently unprofitable,” it said.
“A new local drama, ‘Imbewu: The Seed’, was introduced in April 2018 and is performing well. This should help improve the revenue in e.tv, as well-performing local dramas are the biggest revenue drivers.”
e.tv Multichannel and Platco
Advertising revenue showed significant improvement, increasing by 161% from R22.2 million in the previous year to R57.9 million.
The OpenView platform has increased its viewership capacity to 1 432 521 boxes activated at the end of the period.
“With this ever-improving rollout, and when digital terrestrial television starts, the group will be in a good position to increase its revenue base,” eMedia said.
It said that eNCA continues to perform well and continues to be the most watched 24-hour news station on DStv with over 50% market share.
Advertising revenue in eNCA still shows good growth ending the period on R57.0 million, up 10% from R52.0 million in the previous year.
“eNCA had a relaunch and rebranding in July 2018, and initial feedback is generally positive,” eMedia said.
Certain of the Group’s other subsidiaries have performed satisfactorily for the six month period, it said.
These include Sasani Africa and Strika Entertainment. “YFM has also shown a turnaround from the previous period,” eMedia said.