In aggregate, the pay-television segment grew revenues by 15% and operating profit before amortisation and other gains and losses by
29%.This growth was largely driven by an increase in the aggregate subscriber base of 163 000 to just above two million.
These segmental results exclude UBC which was sold during the year and is treated, for IFRS reporting purposes, as a discontinued
The South African operation reflected some growth, increasing by a net 103 000 to 1,25 million subscri b e rs .The lower priced bouquet
aimed at the emerging market (DStv Compact) grew to 42 000 subscribers. MultiChoice launched the personal video recorder (PVR) in
October 2005, selling some 28 000 units. In the coming year, we intend to make a substantial investment in the development of a DVB-H
platform in South Africa.
The sub-Saharan Africa subscriber base grew by 50 000 to 385 000, primarily from expansion in the Angolan market. Our businesses
in sub-Saharan Africa continue to be plagued by regulatory pressures and processes.
This base grew by 10 000 to 374 000 subscribers. Migration from analogue to digital continues, with 69% of subscribers now using
services. During the year, ten new channels were added to the Nova platform. Seasonal churn remains an issue.
The internet segmental results for the current year exclude Tencent as this investment is now equity accounted.The prior year figures
include Tencent’s operations for three months to June 2004.
The internet segment reflected revenue growth of 29% (52% adjusting for Tencent’s accounting treatment). Operating losses before
amortisation and other gains and losses increased to R98 million, mostly attributed to the development of the internet portal business in
Thailand and Sportscn in China.The internet operation in South Africa remains profitable.
Tencent is the leading instant-messaging (IM) platform in China, and increasingly one of the leaders in this category worldwide.The
business has shown strong growth with peak simultaneous online user accounts for IM services reaching 19,6 million, and active IM
accounts increasing to 220 million (some users have more than one account).
The internet segment, including our equity-accounted share of Tencent’s earnings, is profitable.
Irdeto, the content security solution business, reported record shipments of almost six million devices leading to a growth in revenues of
Irdeto recently acquired a competitor, Philips CryptoTec and continued its expansion into the rapidly developing mobile TV segment. Its
pioneering agreement with TU Media in Korea is the first such mobile TV service launched in the world. Irdeto will capitalise on its lead
further developing its technology for safe-guarding content in the broadband, internet and mobile environment.
The consumption of broadband media on the internet is becoming the dominant form of internet use.This is evidenced by the almost
doubling of Entriq’s revenue to R66 million.
Extensive investment continued in content protection, subscriber management technologies and application service provider services
such broadband markets. Major clients that Entriq has secured include NBC,Viacom, MTV, ProSieben and the Intel ViiV-platform.
Entriq has also developed a broadband product, MediaZone, where niche content is aggregated and offered to the market for
Substantial investment is expected in the short term to consolidate on the progress that Entriq has achieved in its technologies.
Newspapers, magazines and printing
This segment benefited from strong organic growth and robust economic conditions, resulting in revenue growing by 18% to R3,9 billion.
Newspaper titles such as Daily Sun, Son and Soccer Laduuuuuma continued to show good circulation growth. Additional printing
being installed to cope with capacity demands.
The magazine segment also experienced a good year with a number of new titles being launched in South Africa.
A new printing plant, Paarl Web Gauteng, was commissioned and is performing to expectation. An empowerment partner, Kurisani, has
invested in this business.
Book publishing and private education
The book publishing business,Via Afrika, had a reasonable year with the school book publishers recording an excellent performance.
In contrast, the private education business turned in a mixed performance.The core distance education business, International Colleges
Group, had a satisfactory year, whilst a number of growth initiatives were launched with varying levels of success.This was also the
last year of the teach-out of Lyceum colleges, closed some years ago.The face-to-face business, Damelin, continued with its
focus on the further education and training sector.