Naspers boosted by internet business

The South African-based multinational media and ecommerce group group has seen a 28% increase in revenue to R28 billion, with headline earnings per share growing by 16%.

Naspers released its results for the six months to 30 September 2013 this morning. Tencent and reported good growth, and contributed R4.4bn and R405m respectively to core headline earnings. Naspers earns the majority of its revenue offshore rather than in South Africa, and its internet businesses generate more revenue than pay television.

Impressive internet growth

Looking at the businesses within the group, internet contributes around 50% to overall revenue, and this grew 76% to R24.6 billion. Tencent continues to perform well in a competitive environment, with good growth notably in its advertising, mobile and ecommerce business initiatives. portal now attracts 33 million unique Russian users, and has expanded its mobile product offering and audience.

Pay television, which contributes around 40% to the group revenue, saw  revenue growth of 18% to R17 billion. The subscriber base increased by a net 560,000, and now totals 7.3 million households in 48 African countries. In South Africa, M-Net has launched two new content channels and the DStv service was boosted with several new channels. The group has launched its next-generation high-definition PVR decoder, Explora, with an improved hard drive, expanded video-on-demand capability and a livelier user interface.

Print media, which contributes only 16% to group revenue, reported flat revenue in March and showed similar results for this reporting period. The group highlighted that it is looking at cost-cutting initiatives within this division.

Ecommerce acquisitions

Management continues to build the ecommerce business. The focus is on online classifieds, and there has been a notable increase in acquisitions worldwide. The group made numerous acquisitions in 2012, which were highlighted in its March 2013 results. These included a 79% stake in Netretail, a 9% stake in Flipkart and a controlling stake in Dante International, to name just a few.  In August 2012 the group acquired a 10% stake in Flipkart Private Limited, a leading ecommerce site in India, for a consideration of R858 million in cash. It increased its stake to a total of 16.7% in July 2013, for R1.376 million in cash.

In June 2013 the group acquired an additional 6.1% interest in Souq Group Limited, an online retailer, marketplace and payment platform business with operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait, for R296 million in cash. The group now has a 35.8% interest in Souq Group Limited.

As the graph below shows, the share price has risen almost 80% over the last year, helped by good results in March 2013 and weaker local currency.

Naspers chart

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