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Over the past decade or so, Naspers has gone from being a reasonably large media and publishing outfit to being an emerging markets internet colossus with major investments Brazil, Russia, China and India, among others.
That move into the internet and technology sector, as well as its aggressive offshore expansion, has been massively important for the company. The changes, largely driven by CEO Koos Bekker, mean that Naspers has been able to ride positive market sentiment to a market cap of around R400-billion (US$39-billion) based on a share price that’s hovered around the R1 000 mark in recent times.
“In recent times the composition of Naspers has changed. Offshore revenues now exceed those generated in South Africa, whilst internet has surpassed pay-TV as our main business,” Bekker said upon the release of the company’s latest financial results. “We are busy building ecommerce platforms, in particular online classifieds, and are rolling out digital terrestrial television (DTT) across more cities in West and East Africa.”
A look at the figures not only underlines how important the markets Naspers has reached under Bekker continue to be for its growth, but also act as reminder that it’s subject to many of the same pressures as other companies. With that in mind, we’ve unpacked some of the big numbers in and around the release to give you a broader idea of where the company stands right now.
1. R28-billion in total revenues
Naspers’ revenue for the six months leading up to 30 September grew 28%, thanks largely to its online and pay TV ventures, with print revenues continuing to be flat.
2. 15% fall in profits
While Naspers’ revenue grew, its profits took a fairly substantial dip. It puts this down the money it’s had to dole out as it expands its ecommerce and digital terrestrial TV operations.
3. R4.4-billion and R405-million
That’s how much revenue Naspers brought in from its investments in Chinese internet giant Tencent and Russia’s Mail.ru respectively. That’s actually a little bit down from the R7.2-billion they were reported to have brought in when Naspers last announced results. It should be noted however that the Mail.ru number excludes Naspers’ take from the Russian company selling its stake in Facebook.
4. R24.9-billion in online revenue
Overall internet revenues grew 76%, the above-mentioned development costs in some sectors however resulted in a slower trading profit growth of 24% to R3.9-billion. Given that most of those development costs were in the ecommerce sector, it’s hardly surprising that its profits were the hardest hit. Development spend in the sector was R2.3-billion with trading losses of R1.8-billion.
5. R17.1-billion from pay TV
While Naspers’ pay TV results were still strong, growing by 18%, this set of financial results marked the first time revenues from it were lower than those from its online operations.
That’s how much Naspers shares fell in the wake of the announcement, sinking from nearly R1 000 a share to R931.93. Since then however they have recovered somewhat, suggesting that people believe that the company’s investments will pay off in the long-term.