Nation Media Group (NMG) has posted a massive 35.5 per cent drop in net earnings to Ksh 529.2 million from Ksh 819 million for the half year period ended June 2018.
Group turnover declined by 6.7 per cent to Sh 4.9 Billion compared to Sh 5.3 Billion reported in the same period in 2017 mainly as a result of a sharp decline in advertising revenues.
The company’s chief executive, Mr Stephen Gitagama, who was confirmed in June blamed “the shutdown of media houses in the country earlier this year and political uncertainty at the time.”
Overall revenues of the ‘Daily Nation’ newspaper, the company’s bread & butter, dropped by 9 per cent while direct costs of the paper declined by 8%. Revenues of the The East African and Business daily recorded zero per cent growth while those of Tanzania’s ‘Mwananchi’ newspaper fell by 12 per cent in that particular period.
Mr Stephen also noted that the provision for bad debt Outstanding GoK debt currently stands at KES 856m of which 85% is overdue (past 90 days). He added that credit to the government has been suspended.
NTV Kenya revenues fell by 10% while that of NTV Uganda went up by 1%. Direct costs of NTV Kenya came down by 21% while that of NTV Uganda went up by 42%.
“It is quite clear that the legacy media is facing strong challenges with its topline declining over the years. Digital disruption is also a major contributor to this, so what we are doing as NMG it terms of our strategy is to accept that the fact that the future is not on the legacy media especially the print media, so we are looking into areas we can diversify our business.” Wilfred Kiboro, NMG Chairman.