Picture: iSTOCK
Picture: iSTOCK

eMedia Holdings, which owns e.tv, eNCA and OpenView, says it returned to profit in the year to end-March thanks partly to market-share gains in SA’s free-to-air broadcasting sector.

“Tough trading conditions continued for the free-to-air broadcasting industry, with advertising revenue under increased pressure,” it said. But advertising revenue rose 4% to R1.6bn, thanks in part to the group increasing its market share to 24.1%, from 18.1% a year before, eMedia said.

The e.tv platform’s share in the prime-time market rose from 15% to 19.2%, thanks to the new Imbewu: The Seed show and “improved performances from local dailies Scandal and Rhythm City”.

The group reported headline earnings of R59.7m, compared to a loss of R12.5m previously. Revenue from continuing operations rose 4% to R2.4bn.

The company said it would pay a final dividend for the year of 8c per share, after not paying one the previous year.

“The TV market is facing numerous technology and viewership challenges, which will require the group to continually assess its strategic alternatives,” eMedia said.

“Our investment in OpenView provides the group with strategic flexibility and is part of our plan to address the challenges of the impending digital migration transition.”

The group was in talks with the government on its plans to migrate to digital-terrestrial television and direct-to-home broadcasting.

Said eMedia, “With the sale and our closure of certain non-core assets during the year, the group is focused on its core businesses of broadcasting, content creation and a platform and technology provider.”