Johannesburg - South African media and e-commerce firm
posted a 15% gain in full-year earnings on Wednesday, boosted by solid
growth in its money-spinning internet business.
Naspers has transformed itself from an apartheid-era
newspaper publisher to a global multimedia business by buying or taking stakes
in emerging-market internet companies such as China’s Tencent and Russia’s
Naspers said core headline earnings per share rose to 1,850
cents in the year to end-March from 1,612c a year earlier.
The company considers core headline earnings, which exclude
one-time items, to be the most accurate measure of its earnings.
The Cape Town-based company had indicated this month that
earnings would rise by as much as 20%.
Revenue totalled R39.5bn compared with R33.09bn a year
Naspers, which also has stakes in Polish e-commerce firm MIH
Allegro and Buscape, a price-comparison site, has said it will focus on growing
organically and developing new technologies, saying internet valuations are
It has spent heavily to grow its internet and pay television
businesses but investors are now impatient to start reaping some of profits
made by its Chinese and Russian cash cows.
Naspers also delivered a better-than-expected dividend. The
company said it would hike its annual dividend by 24% to 335 cents per
share, beating a Reuters forecast of 334 cents in a poll of 9 analysts.
Naspers’ share price has risen nearly 30% this year. It is
currently trading at 46 times full-year earnings, nearly quadruple the average
of 12.05 times for Johannesburg’s Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] index of blue
Naspers shares rose 2.3% to R465.97 on Wednesday morning.
*Fin24 is a Naspers publication.