Zimpapers on growth trajectory

24 Jun, 2016 - 00:06 0 Views
Zimpapers on growth trajectory Zimpapers board member Phibion Gwatidzo (left) chats with chief executive Pikirayi Deketeke (second left), board chairman Delma Lupepe (third from left) and board member Terrence Hussein at the company Annual General Meeting recently. - File pic

The Herald

Zimpapers board member Phibion Gwatidzo (left) chats with chief executive Pikirayi Deketeke (second left), board chairman Delma Lupepe (third from left) and board member Terrence Hussein at the company Annual General Meeting yesterday

Zimpapers board member Phibion Gwatidzo (left) chats with chief executive Pikirayi Deketeke (second left), board chairman Delma Lupepe (third from left) and board member Terrence Hussein at the company Annual General Meeting yesterday

Business Editor

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Zimpapers will push growth through the creation of new audiences as way of boosting the topline and profitability. Chief executive Pikirayi Deketeke told the Annual General Meeting yesterday that the group was redefining its operating model as part of an objective to become a fully integrated media house.“We are putting resources towards innovation because we feel very strongly that an organisation that does not embrace change and continue to look at it products and market itself for the future will not achieve much,” said Mr Deketeke.

“It’s one thing to contain costs and thereby maintain profitability but more importantly one needs to constantly grow the market and in the process create new revenue streams.”

Zimpapers’ new products in 2016 include DiamondFM, which now controls 97 percent of Mutare listernership since its inception, as well as websites for H-Metro and SportsZone.

This is in addition to its already existing and extensive array of print, broadcast and digital products.

Performance in the five months to May was mixed with revenue declining 7 percent while cost control saw the operating line increase 5 percent.

“Even though the environment is very difficult we have done slightly better than we did last year,” he said.

“In terms of revenue we are below prior year by about 7 percent because it is difficult to spend more dollars, but we are protecting our bottom-line and trying to grow it as much as possible so we expect that by year-end we will have a relatively healthy profit.”

Newspapers continued to dominate on revenue contribution at 80 percent, while the commercial printing and broadcasting divisions both contributed 10 percent.

Mr Deketeke said the performance of the broadcasting division was on a growth trajectory. Zimpapers’ broadcasting division includes StarFM and DiamondFM while the group is looking at expanding into television.

“While newspapers remain our core business broadcasting is beginning to creep in to make sure that we diversify our portfolio of products that we are offering the market and we are still holding on to our commercial printing business whose performance is beginning to improve,” he said adding that the group “believes in being read, seen and heard”.

On profitability in the period, Harare contributed the bulk at 50 percent while StarFM brought in 25 percent and Bulawayo 24 percent. NatPrint overturned a loss position to contribute 1 percent.

“So in terms of our portfolio, I think we are in a relatively good place as the group has maintained a strong grip in terms of market share.”

The group has utilised capex to the tune of $547 000 this year to date in the purchase of equipment for its commercial printing division, building renovations and setting up of the DiamondFM studios.

Full-year capex budget is at $2,6 million.

At the AGM, directors fees for the past year were approved at $255 457 and auditors fees at $110 146. In line with good corporate governance, the group also changed its auditors to Baker Tilly Gwatidzo from BDO Kudenga who had been contracted since 2004.

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