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Naspers sets sights on growth

Jun 27 2012 12:49
Reuters

Company Data

NASPERS LIMITED [JSE:NPN]

Last traded 2564
Change -44
% Change -2
Cumulative volume 282654
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s largest media and e-commerce company, Naspers [JSE:NPN], is aiming for 20% revenue growth this year, but sees modest profit increases because of development costs, chief executive Koos Bekker said on Wednesday.

"We will probably keep growing the top line quite nicely at around 20% or so, but the profit line will be flat because we tend to spend quite a lot in developing our own services," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Naspers on Wednesday reported a 15% increase in profit for the year to end-March.

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 Mail.ru.  

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 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 earlier.

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 inflated.

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 334c 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 chips. 

Naspers shares rose 2.3% to R465.97 on Wednesday morning.

* Fin24 is a Naspers publication.

 
naspers  |  koos bekker

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