Naspers, the listed media and internet group, has reported a 17% rise in revenue to R73 billion for the year ended March 2015, from R62.7 billion before.
Operating profit, however, dropped 21% to R1.6 billion, from R2 billion, but core headline earnings per N ordinary share advanced 28% to R27.82, from R21.81 in 2014.
Naspers’ board recommended that the annual gross dividend be increased by 11% to 470 cents, from 425 cents previously.
Naspers’ growth has been closely aligned to Tencent, a Chinese media and entertainment company in which it owns 34%. It also has strong support from Russian classifieds site, Mail.ru.
The group’s share of equity-accounted results increased to R16.4 billion, from R10.8 billion in 2014.
Naspers’ local assets include MultiChoice, SuperSport, DStv, OLX, and Media24, while globally, its assets include Russian website Mail.Ru, and India based e-commerce company Flipkart.
“The classifieds and e-tail businesses saw strong growth.,” Naspers said. “We continue
to invest in these formats as they are gaining market share globally.”
The group said its internet businesses continue to show strong growth. Segment revenues increased 37% to R78 billion, from R57 billion.
Trading profits grew 96% to R13 billion, mainly attributable to the operating performance of Tencent and some of the profitable ecommerce businesses.
The e-commerce segment saw revenue up 36% to R27.8 billion.
Naspers’ video entertainment sector was sold. From a local perspective, the group said that competition from international online players with global reach, such as Netflix, Amazon and Google, is increasing.
As a result, MultiChoice is investing in its online offering, expanding its delivery platforms and improving products and services.
Some R10.7 billion was invested in development spend in growing the business. This is a 33% increase on the prior year.
Impairment losses of R684 million were recognised mainly relating to broadcasting equipment and intangible assets.
The group also revealed that Dimension Data paid R368 million for MWEB Business, Optinet Services and Networks divisions.
On 22 September 2014, Internet Solutions, a division of Dimension Data, announced that it has signed a transaction agreement to purchase the three assets from MWEB Connect.
After the deal with Dimension Data, MWEB became a consumer-focused Internet service provider (ISP).