Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

Shares in Naspers rose on Thursday morning, even as its main investment, Tencent of which Naspers owns 31%, fell in Hong Kong, after the Cape Town-based internet giant said earnings in the year to end-March grew by up to a third.

Naspers said after the market’s close on Wednesday that core headline earnings per share (HEPS) from total operations, a metric that strips out non-operational items, increased by between 31% and 33%.

Excluding MultiChoice, the pay-TV business that Naspers handed to its investors earlier in 2019, core HEPS grew between 24% and 26%.

Naspers, whose market capitalisation is R1.5-trillion, said it would provide more details in its full results due 21 June.

“Given that Naspers is effectively an investment holding company, its net asset value matters much more than some paper profits,” analysts at Vestact said on Thursday.

Naspers shares were 0.7% up at R3,486.80 shortly after noon on Thursday. Tencent, the investment that has powered Naspers to become Africa’s biggest public company, was 1% down in Hong Kong.

Naspers plans to separately list Tencent and its other global internet companies in Amsterdam in July, as part of its efforts to reduce a hefty valuation gap.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za