Diversified media company, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited (Zimpapers), has recorded a 63 percent revenue growth to $1,2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2022.
In the corresponding period last year, Zimbabwe’s best-performing media house recorded revenue growth of $737 million.
Zimpapers operates national broadcasting (radio and television), newspapers, and commercial printing divisions.
In a trading update for the quarter under review, Zimpapers chief executive officer, Pikirayi Deketeke noted:
“In line with the volume recovery, the group recorded a 63 percent revenue growth to $1,2 billion compared to $0,737 billion for the same period last year.
“Whilst the Digital and Publishing Division (DAP) continued to be the biggest revenue contributor to the group, at 59 percent, it lost 7 percentage points to Commercial Printing Division (4 percent), and Radio Broadcasting Division (3 percent).”
The CPD (Commercial Printing Division) improved its revenue contribution from 17 percent to 21 percent while the RBD (Radio Broadcasting Division) improved from 14 percent to 17 percent.
The Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) channel contributed 4 percent.
The group recorded a net profit before monetary adjustments of $107 million compared to $88 million for the same period last year.
“Although the profit before monetary adjustments was 21 percent better than the same period last year, the net profit margin declined to 9 percent compared to 12,2 percent for the prior launch,” he said.
In terms of volume performance, all the group’s operating divisions recorded volume recovery for the period under review.
This was mainly a result of the lower base recorded in prior year (2021) owing to strict lockdowns that were in place to contain the spread of the Covid-19 infections.
“The volumes for the Digital and Publishing Division (DAP) grew by 38 percent during the first quarter of 2022 when compared to the same period last year.
“The division’s focus on volume recovery witnessed growth in both circulation and advertising.
“To that effect, circulation was 46 percent better driven by subscriptions recovery, whilst advertising was 26 percent favourable to the same period last year,” said Deketeke.
The RBD recorded a 36 percent volume growth during the quarter under review when compared to the same period last year.
The volume growth was due to increased advertising campaigns by both the private sector and the national activities that took place during the period under review.
“The CPD volumes for the quarter were 56 percent better than the same period last year.
“The improved performance for the quarter was a result of further relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, improved availability of critical raw materials in the first two months of the quarter and improved machine reliability,” he said.
In the outlook, the Zimpapers chief said despite the challenging operating environment, the second quarter of the year, as has always been the case over the years, is expected to record improved performance as the economy continues to open up.
“However, the continued hyper-inflationary pressures and run-away exchange rates, if not controlled, will seriously affect the performance of the company.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is making concerted efforts to stabilise the economy as enunciated by the President,” said Deketeke, adding that the Russia/Ukraine geopolitical conflict will continue to present supply chain disruptions.
He said this may have a detrimental effect on the performance of the company for the remainder of the year.
“The company expects to launch its ZTN channel in the second quarter of the year which will further increase the revenue base of Zimpapers as well as fulfil its vision of becoming a fully integrated media house,” said Deketeke.