Avusa still going strong despite economic slump

Marcia Klein

Marcia Klein

Avusa, the company which owns Sowetan, has not been unaffected by the global economic crisis.

Advertising and consumer spend, on which it relies, have been under severe pressure. But it held its own in the six months to September.

Revenue from continuing operations was up 12percent to R2,3billion and headline earnings were up six percent.

The media business, which includes the Sunday Times, Sowetan and other papers as well as magazines, Career Junction and I-Net Bridge, held its own with a four percent drop in revenue and a four percent increase in profit.

But it propped up most other divisions. Profit at the entertainment and retail businesses slumped, while the books and maps divisions were also lower.

Chief executive Prakash Desai said newspapers performed well despite a downturn in the advertising market, helped by the renegotiation of printing contracts and cover-price increases.

In entertainment, Nu Metro suffered the effect of poor content and lower cinema attendances.