Afrikaans Newspaper, Now SA’s Biggest Company, Seeks Further Growth in E-Commerce

South Africa’s biggest company by value, media giant Naspers, said on Tuesday it still sees room for expansion in its e-commerce business even after strong growth last year.

The firm concluded a deal with classified advertising publisher Schibsted in November to extend its e-commerce reach into more markets, and will continue investing heavily in businesses that dovetail the migration from desktops to mobile devices, CEO Bob van Dijk said in a conference call.

Naspers, which operates web based marketplaces such as OLX, Eastern Europe’s Allegro, India’s Flipcart and Souq in the Middle East, grew revenue by 17 percent in the year to end-March as its e-commerce business climbed 36 percent.

“E-commerce is the centrepoint of our development spending and our M&A,” Van Dijk told Reuters.

Out of a total of 10.7 billion rand of development spending, Naspers invested 8 billion on furthering its e-commerce businesses in the year through March. Van Dijk said Naspers plans to continue the rapid expansion in these businesses.

The company, which started as a traditional media company in Afrikaans language newspapers, also has a 34 percent stake in China’s internet Tencent.

Naspers, which already rakes in 73 percent of its revenue from outside Africa’s most advanced economy, said it sees India, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil and Turkey as its major growth markets for the future.

The South African company’s shares rose 2.99 percent on Tuesday to close at 1,876 rand against a 0.6 percent decline in the bluechip index.


Source: SA the Good News via Reuters