Zimpapers sees huge profit slump in 2020
Harare, (New Ziana) – The country’s biggest media house, Zimpapers said on Tuesday it weathered the Covid-19 storm last year but took a major hit as net profit slumped to $15 million in 2020 from $419 million in 2019.
Group chairman Tommy Sithole said a monetary loss of $417 million, as opposed to a gain of $193.1 million in 2019, impacted on the firm’s performance.
“The media environment was tough given the impact of the Covid-19 on businesses and lifestyles which brought about changes in consumption patterns. The resilience of our media products was tested and confirmed standing,” he said.
“The biggest test was on the print products as most consumers were working from home consuming a lot of digital media, resulting in the demand for digital products continuing to rise. In line with the evolution of the digital landscape, the broadcasting segment also enjoyed huge audience growth.”
He said demand for content had remained high despite the rise of social media.
“This bodes well for the industry as audiences were demonstrating faith in professionally produced content, which has been verified and can be relied upon in making important decisions,” Sithole said.
During the year, the media group, the only one listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, saw its revenues improve three percent to $1.34
Divisional wise, the broadcasting subsidiary recorded a 17 percent increase in revenue, followed by the newspaper division at six percent while the commercial printing division was the only one to register a decline, at 13 percent.
“The decline in revenue was a result of low demand mainly for the Typocrafters business as schools remained largely closed and raw material supply related logistical constraints arising from the covid-19 pandemic,” said Sithole.
For the year, Zimpapers declared a final dividend of two cents per share.
In the outlook, Sithole said the company was looking forward to the launching of its television project, which reports indicate is expected mid-this year.