Nation Media sees better earnings in second half

Nation Media Group (NMG) #ticker:NMG Friday told its shareholders that it was looking forward to better performance this year on the back of improved earnings in the first half of this year.

The company’s chief executive Joe Muganda said the outlook is based on stronger performance in the first five months of the year when most parameters of performance have been looking up.

“I’m fairly confident that we shall announce that we have performed better than last year,” Mr Muganda told shareholders at an annual general meeting held at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

He announced that the company would pay shareholders a final dividend of Sh7.50 – one of the highest ever paid by a listed company in Kenya.

The amount translates to a total payout of Sh1.4 billion.

NMG chairman Wilfred Kiboro said full-year earnings are likely to be higher than 2016 if the momentum of the first five months is maintained.

“Results for the first five months have been encouraging. We are optimistic that after three years of profit decline, we will have good earnings this year.”

Mr Kiboro’s optimism arises from the good performance the company has reported in key areas over the first five months. Sales from the digital division grew 14 per cent last year, with the company looking at the segment to contribute 10 per cent of all turnover over the next three years.

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The firm is focusing on its digital first strategy as a means of reaching larger audiences that consume news and entertainment over the Internet.

NMG has restructured it’s newsroom to serve all platforms seamlessly, with content provided online, in print media and broadcast.

NMG made a net profit of Sh2.6 billion in 2013, a figure that dropped to Sh2.4 billion, Sh2.2 billion and Sh1.6 billion in the subsequent three years.

Mr Muganda said NMG is this year focusing on consolidating the gains made and entrenching its presence in the digital media space to capture new audiences and grow revenues.

NMG will also focus on containing costs even as it develops or acquires unique content.

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