South African media and e-commerce group Naspers on Monday reported a 4.5% drop in profit for the year to 31 March, mainly as a result of investments to drive growth in its food delivery business.
Core headline earnings per share (Heps) fell to US$6.57 from $6.87 a year earlier, it said on Monday. The company had estimated that Heps would drop by between 10% and 16%.
The South African-based media powerhouse, with businesses spread across Brazil, China, India, Russia and Europe, said its revenues for the full year jumped 17% to $22.1-billion, driven mainly by its food delivery and classifieds segments.
Its food delivery orders rose 102% and revenues by 99%, while the classifieds business grew by almost half, the company said in a statement.
“Group businesses are likely to benefit from a further acceleration of the underlying trend toward online (due to Covid-19),” CEO Bob van Dijk said in a statement.
He said on a media call the food delivery business had reached a point from which it can be significantly ramped up.
No job cuts
Chief financial officer Basil Sgourdos said the pandemic had not yet caused the company to shed any jobs globally, but added: “We have to see how it plays out.”
The company, which owns almost a third of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, offloaded some of its more valuable e-commerce businesses into a separate entity, Prosus, last year and listed it on Euronext in Amsterdam.
It holds 72.49% of Prosus. — Reported by Promit Mukherjee, (c) 2020 Reuters