Openview and e.tv owner eMedia Holdings has blamed Eskom’s load shedding in part for a hit to its earnings in its latest reporting period.
For the six months to end-September, eMedia reported a 24.6% decline in headline earnings per share and a 20.6% decline in profit, the broadcaster said on Thursday.
Load shedding contributed to a decrease of 5% in “average minute rating”, or AMR, for e.tv compared to the same period a year ago. However, that compared to an industry-wide decline of 16.5%.
Eskom’s inability to supply electricity reliably, coupled with an “already depressed economy”, led to “many key advertisers reducing spend”.
“This, together with the negative impact of the rand/dollar exchange rate as well as the continued legal battle over analogue switch-off and taking MultiChoice South Africa to the Competition Commission in relation to the removal of four entertainment channels off its bouquet, had a direct impact on the decrease of earnings for the group,” it said.
Despite this, revenue was still up, albeit by only 2.1% — to R1.52-billion. The board has declared an interim cash dividend of 21c (down slightly from the 22c of a year ago).
Openview, eMedia’s free-to-air satellite platform, continued to grow strongly during the latest six-month period, with the service exceeding three million activations in September. It is adding about half a million activations annually, the group said.
In the first quarter of 2023, eMedia plans to launch a “smarter” set-top box with “functions that will be unique in the South African market”.
Its recently launched streaming platform, eVOD, showed “satisfactory” growth, it said. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media