Publishing and printing group Caxton has impaired R64.7 million on its plant and equipment, following a slowdown in magazine and newspaper printing.
In 2020, Caxton pulled out of magazine publishing and closed ten of its brands such as People, Your Family, Bona, Country Life and Rooi Rose.
“As reported at half-year, the trading environment in the newspaper and magazine printing market has experienced a permanent decline and certain equipment that is [in] excess to the ongoing requirements, required an impairment of R64.7 million,” said Caxton in its results for the year ended 30 June 2021.
At the same time, the group said improved demand in the second half of the year – following the easing of some of South Africa’s lockdown restrictions, a reduced cost structure and the closure of loss-making divisions – had helped it recover significantly.
The group reported a profit of R565.9 million in 2021, up from a loss of R64 million in 2020. Revenue declined by 6.3% year-on-year to R351.9 million.
In addition to printing, Caxton’s business includes digital advertising, graphic design, packaging and distribution.
“The past year has re-established the group’s operations on a stable base and, as turnovers recover on the scaled-down cost base, this should improve profitability. The uncertain issue is the time period for the turnovers of our different operations to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, with the continued threat of further regulations in the face of fourth and fifth waves of Covid-19 it is impossible to predict the future,” said Caxton.
The board declared a dividend of 50 cents per ordinary share and a preference dividend of 410 cents per preference share.