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Nation Media of Kenya Full-Year Profit Jumps 25% as Sales Climb

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Nation Media Group Ltd., East Africa’s biggest publisher and broadcaster, said full-year profit jumped 25 percent as advertising revenue climbed.

Net income grew to 2.5 billion shillings ($29.2 million) in the 12 months through December, from 2 billion shillings a year earlier, Chief Executive Officer Linus Gitahi told reporters today in Nairobi, the capital. Sales rose 10 percent to 12.3 billion shillings, he said.

“Companies’ advertising budgets increased last year and in addition to the political advertising, revenue increased,” Ted Macharia, an analyst at Nairobi-based AIB Capital Ltd., said by phone. “They also turned around their units, particularly Tanzania.”

Nation Media earned 15.9 shillings a share while the median estimate was for 13.9 shillings a share, according to a survey of two analysts by Bloomberg.

Advertising spending in Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, increased last year as economic growth accelerated to an estimated 4.5 percent from 4.4 percent a year earlier.

Shares in Nation Media Group have rallied 30 percent this year, compared with a 19 percent gain for the Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share Index.

The company increased its dividend to 10 shillings a share from 8 shillings a year earlier and will offer a bonus share of one for every five held, Chairman Wilfred Kiboro told reporters in Nairobi today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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