The Listed Publishing firm, Longhorn Publishers Plc recorded a net profit of Sh15 million in the year ended 31st December 2021, reversing a net loss of Sh 145.3 million recorded during the previous year.
The improved earnings were driven by higher sales which more than tripled to Sh960.9 million amid increased purchase of books and other learning materials.“Across our various markets, we have seen a gradual improvement in the trading environment which supported the overall positive half-year performance of the Group….In Kenya, the government’s support for uninterrupted learning in schools, the new school calendar year in July 2021, and a gradual economic recovery drove the recovery of sales in our largest market.” Longhorn said in a statement.
The company added that despite the prolonged closure of schools in Uganda from March 2020 to last month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it still managed to supply over 23,000 books to public primary schools in that market.
Longhorn’s operating expenses increased by 65 percent to Sh 236.1 million, mainly attributed to the reinstatement of staff benefits that had been cut as a response to the pandemic’s economic crisis. Selling and distribution costs also rose but at a relatively slower pace compared to revenue, resulting in improved margins.
Finance costs were reduced by 31 percent to Sh64.6 million on account of a 22.3 percent reduction in borrowings to Sh914.3 million. The company said it reduced its debt load as cash flows increased from higher collections from customers.
In the first half of the financial year, Longhorn saw additional title approvals in the market for the competency-based curriculum (CBC) Grade 6 and set books in Kenya, 51 secondary titles in Uganda, and 9 titles in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).“We are now looking forward to a major launch of the revised Kamusi Kuu in Tanzania, approvals for CBC Grade 7 and complementary titles in Kenya and several titles in Cameroon,” said Longhorn.
However, the publishing firm did not declare the payment of an interim dividend.