NMG attributed the decline in profitability to factors including a 'drastic' rise in the global prices of newsprint paper. [Photo/ Nairobi News]
NMG attributed the decline in profitability to factors including a 'drastic' rise in the global prices of newsprint paper. [Photo/ Nairobi News]

Nation Media Group (NMG) on Thursday, August 18 published its financial results for the six months ended June 30, 2022. The group saw net profit for the half-year slide to Ksh247.8 million down from Ksh285.2 million last year.

NMG attributed the decline in profitability to factors including a ‘drastic’ rise in the global prices of newsprint paper, disclosing that the costs were up over 100% compared to the previous year. The company also cited the weakening of the Kenyan shilling against the dollar driving up the cost of imported raw materials.

“This adverse impact was partially cushioned by sustained cost containment and improved operational efficiency resulting from business optimization initiatives,” the company revealed.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)-listed firm’s turnover for the six-month period fell to Ksh3.69 billion in 2022 compared to Ksh3.72 billion last year.

Highlighting weakened consumer spending in 2022 driven by the high cost of basic commodities, NMG noted: “The Group’s turnover remained largely flat compared to the same period last year as our products demonstrated resilience in a relatively depressed business environment particularly in Kenya.”

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Growth in broadcast revenues was a key driver of the company’s performance in H1 2022. NMG also witnessed growth in the digital realm as its footprint grew in the first half of the year.

“The steady turnover was mainly attributable to growth in broadcast business, increased revenue from digital products and services and growth of our niche print products – Business Daily, The East African and Taifa Leo. The Group’s digital footprint grew to 52.2 million users compared to 44.9 million users the same period last year,” the company disclosed.

NMG directors did not recommend the payment of an interim dividend. They cited ‘the prevailing economic environment and the Group’s investment plans’.

The company looked forward to economic activity stabilizing following the conclusion of the 2022 General Elections which took place in August, stating that it would provide a favourable operating environment.

“The Group continues to focus on product innovation across our channels and
platforms to drive audience acquisition, engagement and optimal monetization of our expansive digital footprint. This will be done alongside upholding the Group’s strong presence in print and broadcast media by continuously offering unique and relevant content to our audiences,” NMG stated.

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