From the depths of a Ksh210 million loss in 2017, the Standard Group has jumped to record a Ksh261 million profit after tax for the year ended December 31, 2018. Pretax profit was KSh397 million, up from a loss of Ksh282 million in 2017.
In full year results announced on Monday, the media group said the profit was driven by improved efficiencies resulting from investment in process automation and cost optimization.
Standard Group was not left behind in a year that saw the media landscape shaken up by a flurry of “transfers” as reporters on all platforms — print, tv and radio — switched sides.
The media house that owns KTN, KTN News and Standard Newspaper among others lost the likes of Joe Ageyo, Betty Kyalo, Mashirima Kapombe and Paul Wafula but was able to recruit young blood with the likes of Fridah Mwaka, Jesse Rodgers and Brenda Czeda Radido.
“The year 2018 saw the country make spirited efforts to recover from the economic downturn of the 2017 election year. Whereas this meant a shift back to a focus on growth, the journey of recovery has been slow, with many challenges along the way,” the Standard Group board said.
On Monday, Standard Group’s share price rose by 8% to close trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange at Ksh27.
Turnover grew by 4% to close at Ksh4.8 billion compared to Ksh4.6 billion in 2017, “driven largely by improved performance across our brands,” the media group said. Operating costs for the firm reduced from Ksh4.9 billion to settle at Ksh4.39 billion, attributable to cost management initiatives implemented throughout the Group.
Standard Group said it forecasts a positive 2019 as it seeks to deepen its customer engagements and offer more niche media products and services that are responsive to market needs.
The Group’s board has recommended a dividend of Kshs. 0.60 per share for the year 2018.
In 2018, Standard Group sought to expand its footprint, buying Burudani TV at the coastal region as well as Mt Kenya Star newspaper in Central. This year, it has unveiled a new radio station, Spice FM, which targets the young generation.
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