Caxton jeopardizes R64.7m as magazine and newspaper printing declines

Publishing and printing group Caxton suffered a write-down of R64.7 million on plant and equipment, following a slowdown in magazine and newspaper printing.

In 2020 Caxton retired from magazine publishing and closed ten of its brands such as People, Your Family, Bona, Country Life and Rooi Rose.

“As reported in the semester, the business environment in the newspaper and magazine printing market has seen a permanent decline and some equipment that is [in] surplus to current requirements, required a write-down of R64.7 million,” Caxton said in its results for the year ended June 30, 2021.

At the same time, the group said improving demand in the second half – following the easing of some lockdown restrictions in South Africa, a reduced cost structure and the closure of divisions loss-making – had helped him recover significantly.

The group posted a profit of R565.9 million in 2021, compared to a loss of R64 million in 2020. Revenue fell 6.3% year-on-year to R351.9 million.

Besides printing, Caxton’s businesses include digital advertising, graphic design, packaging and distribution.

“The past year has restored the group’s operations to a stable base and as turnover recovers on the reduced cost basis, this should improve profitability. The uncertain question is the time period for which revenues from our various operations are fully recovering to pre-pandemic levels, with the continued threat of new regulations in the face of the 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 common share and a preferred dividend of 410 cents per preferred share.