Wednesday, 18 May 2022 19:29

E.tv owner eMedia leaps higher on surge in profits.

By Duncan Mcleod.

Shares in eMedia Holdings leapt higher on Wednesday after the free-to-air broadcaster that owns e.tv and Openview, said it expected headline earnings per share to jump by as much as 301% in the year to March 2022.

The broadcaster said in a trading statement ahead of the publication of its annual results later this month that it had "an extremely good year given the continued tough economic conditions", with a "significant increase in profits when compared to the prior year".

The strong performance, it said, was the result of an increase in market share, including primetime market share, which ended the period at 34.1%. This growth continued post year-end, and by 30 April, its 6am and midnight and primetime market share had reached 32.6% and 35% respectively, making it the "biggest broadcaster in both categories in South Africa".

eMedia's only direct competitor in free-to-air broadcasting in South Africa is the SABC.

"The return to the 'new normal' [following the Covid-19 pandemic] saw advertising revenue return to a state that was better than the financial year just before the pandemic caused the world and South Africa to come to a virtual standstill," eMedia said in the trading statement.

"The group’s television advertising revenue ended 29% better than the prior year — this can be attributed to the increased prime-time market share from 29.6% in March 2021 to 34.1% in March 2022, an increase of 15.2%."

Shares in eMedia, which said it will publish its results on 26 May, were last trading 15.7% higher at R4.80 apiece after earlier jumping to R5.50 on the upbeat update.