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Jobs at stake as Longhorn set to restructure

Longhorn MD Simon Ngigi. file photo | nmg
Longhorn MD Simon Ngigi. file photo | nmg 

Job cuts loom at listed publisher Longhorn #ticker:LKL after the company announced a restructuring plan intended to align its operations to a rapidly changing industry.

Longhorn Publishers Monday said it would initiate the changes next month aiming to stem costs and increase efficiency.

“The process will involve a staff rationalisation and re-alignment aimed at fundamentally enhancing our operational efficiency,” said the company’s managing director, Mr Simon Ngigi, in a statement.

Longhorn declined to reveal the number of staff that will be affected by the expected retrenchment.

The firm is trying to adapt to a market where technology is eating into the revenues of traditional book-publishing firms as readers opt to store titles on e-devices and mobile gadgets. Technology-aided piracy cost Longhorn Sh450 million in revenues in the year to June 2016.

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At the same time, government policies have signalled plans to cut down publishing companies’ revenues. It has thus partnered with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to distribute millions of textbooks to public primary schools, taking away sales from publishers.

Last month, the Ministry of Education issued a notice requiring the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to revert to a policy where schools are required to use one text book per subject.

It said the move would break publishing cartels that are working with KICD to recommend up to six books for parents and schools to purchase.

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