Longhorn Publishers #ticker:LKL has sunk into a Sh145.3 million loss in the six months to December 2020 as sales were hurt by disrupted learning due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The publisher had made a net profit of Sh68.96 million in the half-year to December 2019.
“The Group revenue declined compared to the same period last year mainly attributable to the closure of schools for the entire period,” Longhorn said in a statement on Friday.
Kenya shut schools indefinitely in March last year when the first case of coronavirus was reported within its borders in a move that hurt businesses that rely on schools being open.
Longhorn notes that the pandemic and the related mitigating measures in Kenya and other regional markets where it operates have had an adverse impact on its business.
“The group operated under a challenging environment that resulted in a drop in the level of activity during the first half of the year,” it said.
However, in Uganda and Tanzania, where learning was not heavily disrupted in the period under review, sales revenue grew by 263 per cent and 19 per cent respectively compared to a similar period the previous year.
Uganda reopened schools for its candidates in October.
The publisher says it expects significant sales in the second half following the reopening of schools in January.
“The distribution of secondary school titles in Uganda and competency-based curriculum (CBC) Grade 5 titles in Kenya is scheduled before year-end.
“Tanzania is expected to surpass prior year revenue given the traction being made with various revised and new titles approved for the market,” said Longhorn.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm posted a Sh225.9 million loss, the first in eight years, for its full-year to June 2020 net earnings as its revenues were hit by the virus control measures.