Johannesburg - Non-executive
chairperson of Naspers [JSE:NPN] Ton Vosloo
said on Friday recent
experience has taught the group that internet valuations have become inflated
and that good value is difficult to find.
He was speaking at the annual
"We are focusing more
on growing our businesses organically and on developing new technologies. This
may dampen earnings in the year ahead, as the cost of developing these
businesses is expensed through the income statement. However, we believe this
strategy will stimulate long-term growth prospects," Vosloo said.
He noted that the group's
consolidated revenues grew 18% to R33bn, while core headline earnings grew 13%
Vosloo said that the internet
businesses in emerging markets introduced even more accessible, reliable and
convenient services to users, and as a result consumer trust in transacting on
these platforms was increasing.
operations of Allegro, Eastern Europe and Ricardo, Western Europe continue to
expand healthily. Latin America is concentrating on deepening its services and
broadening its revenue base.
"Rapid growth of the
internet industry in China enabled Tencent, through its focus on user
experience, to expand the usefulness of its core platforms. The Russian
internet market remains lively and the Mail.ru Group, listed on the London
Stock Exchange, maintained market share in most segments," he said.
The pay-television unit
recorded growth of 977 000 homes for the period to March 31, largely driven by
the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
"In several African
countries we made good progress in increasing local content," Vosloo said.
Media under pressure
He noted that the regulatory
environment in respect of the press in SA had been under considerable scrutiny.
"The proposed information bill is deeply disturbing. It will limit access to information
which we can now legitimately get, by declaring it secret. This goes beyond
what is necessary to protect either our national security or what is in the
public interest. Should the proposed changes become a reality, SA will be a
"We will no longer have
a transparent democracy. Cover-ups will be easy, corruption will spread and
there is little doubt that our economy will go to pieces. Media freedom and the
free flow of information is the lifeblood of all the other freedoms we enjoy
under the Bill of Rights. We are encouraged by the latest developments in
parliament that sanity will prevail," he said.
- Fin24 is a Naspers publication.