Kenya: Closure of Schools Pushes Longhorn Publishers to Losses of Sh145.3 Million

22 February 2021

Nairobi — Longhorn Publishers has posted Sh145.3 million in losses in the six months to December 2020, down from the Sh68.9 million net profit it recorded in a similar period in 2019.

In a statement, the group said it was impacted by a challenging environment arising from the Covid-19 crisis and the related suspension of learning in schools

During the period under review, the Group's operating expenses reduced by 41 percent compared to a similar period in 2019 mainly attributable to savings from cost containment measures.

The Group managed to cut its losses by 51 percent in the first half of the year compared to the previous half, indicating the business is on a recovery path.

"Despite this, we have continued to make strategic investments in both our regional markets and digital platforms

in order to safeguard the long-term sustainability of our business," the Group's Chair Francis T. Nyammo and Group Managing Director & CEO Maxwell Wahome said in a joint statement.

Regionally, Uganda and Tanzania revenue grew by 263 percent and 19 percent respectively compared to the same period last year. At half-year, Uganda had already surpassed full prior-year revenue by 61 percent while Tanzania's performance represented the fourth straight year of growth.

The Group also registered its first sales in the Francophone market of Sh94 million marking a significant milestone in its regional expansion plans.

The Group says it expects significant sales in the second half of this year, following the resumption of learning in schools from January 2021 and gradual recovery of the economies in the countries Longhorn operates in.

"The distribution of secondary school titles in Uganda and Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) Grade 5 titles in

Kenya is scheduled before year-end. In addition, Tanzania is expected to surpass prior year revenue given the traction being made with various revised and new titles approved for the market," they said.

On the Digital front, the Group said it continues its journey towards scaling and fully optimizing its digital learning solutions.

"The Board of Directors remains very confident of the recovery of the business in the second half of the year and growth of the shareholders' value."

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