Kenya's Standard Group more than doubles first-half pretax profit
NAIROBI Aug 19 (Reuters) - Kenyan media company Standard Group more than doubled pretax profit in the first half of the year, helped by growth in advertising revenues.
Traditional print media remains profitable in Africa despite growing Internet use, while Kenyan companies also benefited from campaign advertising in both print and electronic media in the run-up to the presidential election in March.
Standard Group, which publishes Kenya's second-largest daily newspaper The Standard and operates a television and radio station, said that pretax profit jumped to 223.3 million Kenyan shillings ($2.6 million) in the six months to June 30. That was a 109 percent increase on the same period last year.
Total revenue rose 31 percent to 2.26 billion shillings, helped by the jump in earnings from television and radio advertising.
"Barring unforeseen factors, the board remains optimistic that the current momentum will be sustained in the second half," Standard Group said in a statement.
The company said that its borrowing costs dropped to 60.5 million shillings from 85.6 millions shillings, while earnings per share rose 44 percent to 2.92 shillings. It did not declare an interim dividend. ($1 = 87.3500 Kenyan shillings)
(Reporting by Kevin Mwanza; Editing by George Obulutsa and David Goodman)
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