Word from Mr Linus Gitahi, C.E.O
I am happy to be communicating with you today at the precipice of history in the making. As we stand at this monumental and historic moment brought about by Kenya’s Constitution Referendum and as we prepare to welcome a new dawn in Kenya, I want to salute all of Nation’s digital, broadcasting and press teams that have gone the extra mile to deliver one of the best and endearing journalistic performances seen in recent years. The teams’ dedication to duty including your resolve to get the job done over the last 32 - 48 hours cannot go unnoticed. I want to express the management’s hearty congratulations and recognize your gallant performance and an excellent job done.
Mwananchi Communications' $4 million (about Ksh.300 million) investment in a new printing press was inaugurated on 30th July 2010 at a high level event attended by the business and diplomatic community in Dar es Salaam and officiated by H.E. Amb. Juma Mwapachu, East African Community’s Secretary General. The new potential for high quality printing has progressively seen Mwananchi grow its advertising revenue in the first half of this year.
Earlier this week the company announced double digit revenue growth in the first half of the year, riding on renewed optimism in Kenya's economy that has caused an uptick in advertising spend across all sectors. With a profit before tax growth of 52 per cent, to Sh892 million, compared to Sh588 million in the same period last year, Nearly all the group’s platforms reported double digit sales growth, pushing the revenues up from Sh3.8 billion in the first half of last year to Sh4.4 billion this year.
The results have shown that our hard work is beginning to bear fruit after a particularly harsh 2009. These by all means are excellent results that reflect the continued commitment that we all have made to do our best at our stations. This commitment needs to continue growing to allow for greater profitability and a guarantee of a good bonus payout at the close of the year.
The Nation Newspaper Division’s performance, which last year reported a slight drop in revenues as businesses cut their marketing budgets to deal with the ripple effects of the global economic recession and high direct costs, reported a 36 per cent rise in operating profit, helped by a 20 per cent increase in revenues in the first six months of the year. The Nation Broadcasting Divisions’ results, which were also adversely affected by last year’s economic slowdown and market fragmentation, reversed its course to post strong growth in revenues. Easy FM, NMG’s premier radio station grew to become the number one English FM station in Kenya while Qfm, the Kiswahili station that was launched in 2008, is now ranked as the country’s third most popular Kiswahili station.
Revenues at Monitor Publication in Uganda grew by 5 per cent on a 3 per cent reduction in distribution costs. We expect that there will be a sharper investment focus geared at positioning The Monitor as Uganda’s largest daily newspaper. NTV Uganda, which now covers 80 per cent of the country, increased its revenue by 60 per cent, while operating profit jumped up by 150 per cent.
The Group has also embarked on a cross listing venture that will see its shares traded at the Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda Stock markets. The cross listing opportunity is a value addition to our shareholders (who include most of NMG’s staff) as they stand a better chance of enjoying increased liquidity ratios.
In conclusion, the corporate culture ‘The NMG Way’ evaluation has just concluded and the results reveal that we are making progress in enhancing our top line priority focus areas and eliminating all our bottom-line focus areas. I want to commend the high response levels from the staff with more than 70% of us giving opinion on this progress. Management is unequivocal in meeting the challenges of giving NMG the culture that we all want.
Group Chief Executive Officer