BusinessLIVE’s owner Tiso Blackstar Group raised its interim dividend by 20% to 4.47275c per share for the six months to end-December from the matching period’s 3.74c.

Shareholders will receive a special dividend of R40m once the group’s sale of its 22.9% stake in Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH) for R1.5bn has been completed.

The company said in Monday’s interim results statement that the sale was expected to be completed in May, and the per share value of the special dividend would be calculated then. The group has been repurchasing its own shares, spending R10.7m buying back shares during the reporting period.

The group’s overall interim revenue grew 6% to R4.5bn, with sales growth from its subsidiaries — Consolidated Steel Industries (CSI) and Robor — offsetting declines in its media and retail solutions divisions.

CSI grew interim revenue 28% to R1.2bn and Robor grew interim revenue 12.3% to R1.1bn while the media division’s revenue shrank 7.4% to R1.3bn and retail solutions’ revenue shrank 4.4% to R865m.

The results provided a breakdown of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda).

Here CSI was again the best performer, growing its ebitda contribution 16.5% to R46m.

Retail solutions, which houses Hirt & Carter and Uniprint, contributed 51% of the group’s total R269.5m ebitda, although it contributed only 19% of revenue.

Robor suffered a 79% decline in ebitda to R3m.

"Anticipated completion of delayed project work should improve results in the second half of the financial year," the results statement said.

The media division grew ebitda 6.2% to R92m, contributing 34% of ebitda and 29% of revenue.

Overall ebitda grew 8.4%, boosted by a 61% decline in losses from divisions labelled "other".

"The traditional media business — newspapers, magazines, digital and distribution — grew ebitda by 16.7% to R86.9m," the company said in its results statement.

The group’s newspapers, which include Business Day, Sunday Times and Sowetan, grew their advertising market share to 25.9% from 25.4% in the matching period.

Magazines produced almost 40% earnings growth off a 7% increase in revenue, the company said.

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