Mon, 18 Nov 2019

Tiso Blackstar, which owns Business Day, Financial Mail and the Sunday Times, says its revenue from continuing operations decreased by 22.8% in the year ended June 30, 2019.

Its headline loss per share increased by 160.3% to 76.60 cents per share, with loss per share increasing 49% to 213.07 cents per share.

No dividends were declared for the year.

It described the year as "difficult but very eventful".

Earlier in the year, the takeover by the group by Lebashe Investment Group was announced, with the R1bn deal recently approved by the Competition Commission.

Tackling debt

In a statement on Monday night, Tiso Blackstar said it was able to unlock significant value with the sale of its media, broadcast and content businesses to Lebashe.

"The proceeds arising from the transaction will be utilised to lower group debt by more than two thirds and reduce the related financial risk that the debt servicing imposed on the group," CEO Andrew Bonamour said.

"The stronger balance sheet will give the group sufficient flexibility to execute its strategy."

A statement released on the JSE Stock Exchange News Service said total trading performance of the group increased by 3.0% to R415.8m from the prior year, but the gains did not translate into profits mainly due to the significant other losses of R443.3 million incurred during the year.

These included R68.3m of loan receivables by steel pipe manufacturer Robor, which had been written off, as well as R16.4m of losses relating to the disposal of subsidiary Smartcall Technology Solutions and R27.3 of losses relating to the disposal of subsidiary Consolidated Steel Industries.

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