NMG eyes product innovation to boost revenue diversification

Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama. FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

The Nation Media Group (NMG) is banking on product innovation and organisational transformation to complement its shift to digital content and diversify revenues from the traditional streams.

NMG Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gitagama told shareholders that the focus going forward will be on two key pillars, product innovation and organisational transformation 'which will enable us to utilise our multi-channel platforms to drive audience acquisition, engagement and monetization of content.'

This will boost the company’s revenues following entry into the digital paid content through the Nation.Africa brand to diversity earnings from the traditional streams like advertising and sales from print newspapers. The company will also explore mergers and acquisitions.

“We are identifying mergers and acquisition opportunities for products that will help the Group drive value in key social impact areas such as agriculture, youth, environment, education, technology among others,” Mr Gitagama said on Thursday during the company's 59th Annual General Meeting.

The company’s revenues grew by Sh800 million in the year ended December to Sh7.6 billion while profit before tax more than tripled to Sh730 million in the same period from Sh120 million in 2020.

The growth was attributed to the acceleration of subscription content and recovery in revenues from television and print that had taken a hit in 2020 in the wake of the Coronavirus-induced economic fall-out.

“Targeted cost management measures were undertaken to improve operational efficiency and increase productivity. The Group’s subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania also witnessed strong recovery and recorded improved profits,” Group Chairman Wilfred Kiboro said during the AGM.

The company will also pay shareholders a final dividend of Sh1.5 per share on issued and paid-up share capital as at 31st December 2021 at the back of the recovery in revenues.

NMG first experimented with digital news content subscriptions in February last year and has since gone big on the shift riding on its vast audience in the regional market.

The company launched Nation.Africa brand to spearhead the shift to paid online content that includes platforms like podcasts, puzzles, video and newsletters.

NMG is eyeing more share of the Content Service Provision (CSP) sector whose annual revenues are estimated at more than Sh10 billion through the shift to paid digital content.

The company has also registered the ‘Nation Media Foundation’ to enable it to deploy resources and attract key strategic partnerships highlighting the firm’s leading role in Kenya’s push to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

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