Profits at Kenya's Nation Media edge up

NAIROBI, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:12am EDT

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NAIROBI, March 20 (Reuters) - Kenya's Nation Media Group posted a 2.4 percent rise in its pretax profit to 3.59 billion shillings ($42 million) last year, curbed by a jump in operating costs, it said on Thursday.

The firm, which publishes the country's leading newspaper, The Daily Nation, and operates several broadcast stations, said operating expenses rose 11.7 percent, outpacing an 8.3 percent growth in revenue.

Shares in the company fell 1.5 percent to trade at 320 shillings in the afternoon session.

Nation Media has been diversifying its business in recent years, launching papers and broadcast stations in neighboring markets like Uganda, while foraying into the money transfer business via its digital assets like website www.nation.co.ke.

Nation Media said it would pay a 10 shilling dividend per share, unchanged from the previous year. ($1=86.4500 Kenyan Shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Richard Lough, Greg Mahlich)

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