Operating profit came in at GBP8.2 million (loss of GBP4.3 million). Profit attributable to equity holders jumped to GBP2.6 million (GBP0.038 million). Furthermore, headline earnings per share were higher at GBP0.17 pence per share (GBP0.02 pence per share).
The company places emphasis on making dividend payments on an interim and final basis and the Tiso Blackstar Board has approved an interim dividend of 4.47275 South African cents (0.28465 pence) per share. The exchange rates have been fixed for the calculation of the Euro and Pounds Sterling equivalents based on the closing exchange rates on Thursday, 16 March 2017 of EUR1=ZAR13.704 and GBP1=ZAR15.713.
Transfer of listing to the Main Board of the JSE Ltd.
The company has received approval from the JSE Ltd. ("JSE") to transfer its listing from a secondary listing on the Alternative Exchange of the JSE ("Altx") to a dual primary listing on the Main Board of the JSE. The approval is subject to the company's Articles of Association being amended to comply with the JSE Regulations and the successful migration of the company to the United Kingdom.
This will result in the company having a dual primary listing on both AIM and the JSE Main Board, which the Board believes will widen the company's potential investor base, develop the company's governance framework and facilitate the company's longer term growth ambitions.
An Extraordinary General Meeting ("EGM") will be requisitioned in order for shareholders to approve these amendments to the Articles of Association. At the same EGM, the company will propose a long-term incentive scheme for employees of the group. This scheme will aim to incentivise, attract and retain key employees and align their interests with that of shareholders.
It is anticipated that the migration, the EGM and the Main Board listing will be completed before the end of June 2017. Further information will be announced in relation to these matters in due course.
The company has laid a solid foundation for sustainable growth, with new diversified revenues and stabilised core businesses well set to take advantage of any improvements in the South African economy. Once Tiso Blackstar receives the proceeds from the sale of the KTH shareholding, the balance sheet will be significantly strengthened and interest costs will reduce substantially.
The core businesses have performed satisfactorily to date in 2017 with key revenue streams above prior year and earnings growth continuing. The transformation of the business into a multi-platform diversified media company is proving successful and our market-leading brands continue to provide strong cash flows to support future growth.
Highlights so far in 2017 include the successful launch and take-up of a paywall for our business titles Business Day and Financial Mail, continued growth in advertising in our key products, and growth in contractual income for our Retail Solutions business.
The group intends to pay a special dividend of R40 million (GBP2.5 million) once KTH sale proceeds have been received.
We are currently looking at acquisition opportunities both in South Africa and internationally that should add to the earnings of the group.
Shareholders are advised that Tiso Blackstar has a detailed investor presentation which will be available on the company's website www.tisoblackstar.com from 22 March 2017.
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