ZimPapers has released a trading update that covers a period ending September 2020. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Zimbabwe’s volatile economy were a major factor in the group’s performance. This mostly affected the second quarter of the year when public health restrictions were at their most strict.
ZimPapers output & division performance
Zimpapers recorded improvements in the third quarter with positive growth of 7% in the radio division and 11% in the online television station ZTN.
The NewsPaper division, on the other hand, suffered a 33% dip in circulation when compared the same period last year. There was a little bit of a ray of sunshine for the newsprint division as it managed to make a 15% recovery in advertiser volume.
Commercial printing volumes grew by 26% and 10%, this was owed to the division being designated an essential service.
The group’s financial performance was helped by the easing of COVID-19 public health measures in Q3. Revenue for the quarter was ZWL$366.7 million which is in stark contrast to the ZWL$164.7 million that the group made in Q2 marking a 123% increase. As a result of the improved performance in Q3 Zimpapers recorded ZWL$96.5 million net profit before interest, tax and monetary adjustment which is an improvement from the ZWL$7.6million recorded in Q2.
In terms of the total revenue for the period under review, the group made ZWL$758 million which is a 26% decline from the ZWL$1.027 billion the company recorded over the same period last year.
ZimPapers also recorded ZWL$192.5 million in Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Depreciation (EBITDA). This is, however, a slight dip from the ZWL$193.1 that was recorded over the same period in 2019.
Due to monetary losses of ZWL$96 million, Zimpapers had an operating loss before tax of ZWL$14.9 million.
ZimPapers is going to be focusing diversification in order to broaden revenue streams. The improvement shown by ZTN is hopefully an indicator that the company should lean heavily on digital media as the print division is not doing too well. On top of diversifying the group is also looking to increase foreign currency revenue generation.
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