Longhorn Publishers has expanded to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a bid to tap the country's vast market of 20 million learners, and boost shareholder returns.
The entry into DRC where it has received government approval for nine book titles comes two years after its successful entry to Cameroon.
The Nairobi-Securities Exchange-listed firm is on an aggressive expansion drive into francophone countries which it considers greatly untapped.
“We are confident that the entry to DRC will give us access to a market of over 20 million learners which will have a significant impact on improving our shareholder returns in the future,’’ said Longhorn chief executive Maxwell Wahome.
DRC Deputy minister of basic, secondary, and tertiary education Aminata Namasia launched the nine government-approved pupils’ books and their respective teacher guides by Longhorn. The learners and teacher guidebooks developed in French cover Science Grade 2, 3 & 4, French Grade 3 & 4, and Mathematics Grade 1,2,3 & 4.
The company now embarks on entrenching these books within the school markets through partnerships with schools and the DRC Ministry of Education.
Longhorn which already operates such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, and Malawi, recorded a net profit of Sh15 million in the year ended December, reversing a net loss of Sh145.3 million a year earlier.
The improved earnings were driven by higher sales which more than tripled to Sh960.9 million amid increased purchase of books and other learning materials. The company did not say whether it will pay a dividend.
Longhorn is among the nine firms that won a Sh2.97 billion tender to supply Grade seven textbooks under the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) in Kenya.
The firm will publish French and computer books that have been listed as optional subjects under the CBC.