Announcing its results for the financial year ended March 31, 2014, it said this was driven by its internet and pay-television businesses.
“Consolidated revenue grew a robust 26 percent to R62.7 billion, driven by both internet and pay-television businesses,” it said in a statement.
“Growth was funded mainly by development spend, which accelerated 79 percent to R7.7bn. This step-up limited core headline earnings, considered by the board to be an indication of sustainable earnings performance, to R8.6bn, marginally higher than last year.”
Core headline earnings per share amounted to R21.81, and a dividend increase of 10 percent to R4.25 per share had been proposed.
In the statement, Naspers chairman Ton Vosloo said the company had experienced a “lively” year.
“Our established businesses performed very well and we stepped up our investment in new growth opportunities, particularly in e-commerce,” he said.
Revenues from e-commerce activities increased 64 percent to R20.3bn, driven by strong growth in e-tail (buying and selling over the internet).
“As this is an area of expansion, development spend rose as we scaled operations, increased the number of focus markets in classifieds, and strengthened our talent pool,” the group’s new CFO Basil Sgourdos said.
As a result, the trading loss had widened to R5.3bn, he said.
The year had also seen improving profitability from the Allegro marketplace business, and some classifieds and online price-comparison operations.
Several classifieds markets showed growth ahead of competitors.
The pay-television business, which covered 50 countries on the African continent, reported 20 percent growth in revenues to R36.3bn.
The number of total subscribers increased by a record 1.3 million, taking the base to over eight million homes.
“Continued expansion of digital terrestrial services, more investment in local content and an increase in online service offerings resulted in 13 percent growth in trading profit to R8.5bn,” the statement said.
The print media “remains exposed to challenging global conditions and experienced a tough year”.
Revenues were flat and margins declined.
Naspers’s share of core earnings from associates, including Tencent in China and Mail.ru Group in Russia, increased by 46 percent to R10.2bn.