DIVERSIFIED media group Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited continues to consolidate its position as the dominant player in the sector as reflected by the growing audience base of its divisions, board chairman Mr Delma Lupepe has said.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange — listed firm runs the commercial printing, newspaper, broadcasting and digital media divisions with a wide coverage countrywide.
In a statement accompanying the firms audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2016, Mr Lupepe said the firm has invested heavily in its operations as it aims to improve service to its clients in line with modern trends.
“The investments we have made into the print, broadcasting and digital arms of the group have seen us consolidate our position as the most dominant force as reflected by the Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (ZAMPS).
“We now effectively operate as a content factory that churns out relevant information for our readers and audiences using platforms and devices of their choice,” said Mr Lupepe.
“Our readership continues to grow as there is a discernible and measurable appetite for our content, which is personalised, shareable, verified and attributable. By being sufficiently present in our readers, listeners and viewers’ lives we are able to fully understand and anticipate their content needs and interests.”
The board chairman said Zimpapers would continue to adapt to the future requirements while retaining the passion, drive and innovative spirit combined with world class technology.
The group has already embraced the digital revolution and is running vibrant digital platforms such as BH24, SportsZone and online daily updates, which are fast becoming alternative revenue streams.
In terms of performance during the period under review Mr Lupepe said the newspaper division maintained its dominance despite the difficult economic climate that eroded circulation and advertising revenue. The group runs daily and weekly publications such as The Chronicle, The Herald, H-Metro, B-Metro, Sunday News, The Sunday Mail, Umthunywa, Southern Times and Kwayedza.
The newspaper division recorded revenue of $29.2 million during the period compared to $33 million recorded in 2015, which accounts for 11.8 percent difference, said Mr Lupepe.
He said the commercial printing division made pleasing inroads following recent capital investment and restructuring of operations.
“Revenue performance for the commercial printing unit continued to increase, recording a 13.2 percent favourable variance against the $3.6 million recorded in 2015 . . . driven by improved capacity utilisation.
“The broadcasting flagship, Star FM has achieved 51 percent of the urban radio listenership. Riding on the reputable brands, the broadcasting revenue performance improved by 27.3 percent from $3.4 million to $4.3 million. . .,” said Mr Lupepe.
However, overall, the company’s revenue declined by 6,3 percent to $37,6 million during the year under review compared to $40.1 million recorded during the same period last year.
The decrease in revenue was caused by the continued general economic environment slowdown characterised by liquidity constraints that affected consumers’ disposable incomes.