Naspers revenues up 29% after 'transformational year'

Naspers [JSE:NPN] on Friday announced its results for the year to March 31, 2019.

"This was a transformational year for Naspers. We entered the financial year well-positioned as a global consumer internet group," group CEO Bob van Dijk said in a statement.

Revenues increased 29% year-on-year (y/y) to $19.0bn; the trading profit grew 22% y/y to $3.3bn; and core headline earnings grew 26% to $3.0bn.

According to the statement, the group's transition to a global consumer internet group was completed with MultiChoice Group's successful listing on the JSE and unbundling to shareholders. This unlocked around $4bn in value.

The group also said that, effectively, 100% of revenues and profits are now coming from online businesses.

The group intends to list its international internet assets on Euronext Amsterdam, creating Europe's largest listed consumer internet company by asset value. According to Van Dijk, this is designed to create a strong platform for continued growth while also reducing the outsized weighting of the primary listing on the JSE.

The new group to be listed on Euronext, to date described as "NewCo", will be called Prosus.

As for growth in the group's core segments, ecommerce trading losses were significantly reduced; classifieds became profitable in aggregate for the year; and PayU's payments service provider business became operationally profitable during the year.

Furthermore, the group stepped up investment in food delivery, which it sees as a high-growth, core segment. It also locked in a strong return following the Flipkart disposal.

Naspers sees its strong balance sheet, with net cash of $6.3bn, as positioning it well to pursue growth.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to drive profitability in our established ecommerce segments while selectively investing in earlier stage opportunities," said Van Dijk.

According to group chair Koos Bekker, Naspers is executing well on its strategy to build meaningful global businesses in the online classifieds, payments and fintech, and food delivery sectors.

Fin24 is part of 24.com, a division of Media24, which is a subsidiary of Naspers.

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