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Kenya: Nation Media Group-owned Easy FM is market leader with 16% market share

Easy FM is the most popular radio station among Kenyan listeners, says a leading research firm. The station's ratings among the listeners increased from 14 per cent in the first quarter to 16 per cent in the second quarter of 2007, show the ratings by Consumer Insight. The researcher places Easy FM's nearest competitor at 12 per cent, giving the Nation Media Group-owned radio station a leadership margin of four per cent.

The station's ratings were some of the highlights contained in the media group's half-year results released by the chief executive officer, Linus Gitahi, during an investor briefing at the Serena Hotel last week. In the results for the half-year ending June 30, 2007, NMG recorded a 31 per cent increase in pre-tax profit compared to the same period last year. The half-year pre-tax profits grew to Sh679 million, up from Sh520 million. Turnover increased by 16 per cent to stand at Sh3.5 billion. "The increase in turnover was largely driven by volumes because we have not increased our prices in the last six years," said Gitahi.

Earnings per share increased by 28 per cent over the same period. The newspaper division returned a 26 per cent increase in advertising revenue over the same period in 2006, while circulation revenue increased by six per cent, with the newly launched Business Daily newspaper showing a promising start. "We have additional revenue streams from contract printing and digital initiatives," said Gitahi. Revenue in the broadcasting division went up by 24 per cent with both Consumer Insight and Steadman Group rating NTV as the most viewed TV station in the country.

Portfolio restructuring to move Nation Marketing and Publishing to the next level is under way, said Gitahi. NMG's Uganda operations were improving, with The Monitor Publications' advertising revenue increasing by 23 per cent over the same period in 2006, while maintaining the 2005 election year circulation figures. The business turnaround of Mwananchi Communications in Tanzania was under way with its management strengthened recently.

(The Nation (Nairobi), 28 July 2007)

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