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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Media group eyes election boost
Logo from Daily Nation online
Online revenues have risen 9%
East Africa's leading media group has predicted that Kenya's elections will be good for its business, after reporting a 77.8% jump in half-year profits.

The chief executive at the Kenyan-based Nation Media Group (NMG), Wilfred Kiboro, predicted intense interest in Kenya's elections would push revenues up in the second half of the year.

Kenya is due to go to the polls by December, which will see the replacement of President Daniel arap Moi after 24 years in power.

NMG put its rise in profits down to strong growth in advertising revenue, cost cutting, and good performances by its subsidiaries.

The media group publishes the Daily Nation, The East African and the Weekly Advertiser and also has magazine, online, radio and television interests.

Expansion plans

Mr Kiboro said plans to enter the Tanzanian market were at an advanced stage.

The company also announced plans to expand in Uganda as the performance of its Ugandan Monitor Publications improved.

The NMG's internet revenues rose 9% and claims its www.nationaudio.com web site is the most popular in east and central Africa, taking 650,000 hits daily.

The groups pre-tax profit in the period shot up to 234m Kenyan shillings (2m) from 131.6m the same time last year on a 12% increase of turnover to 1.8bn shillings.

Local brokers have tipped it as one of the key foreign investment targets after the Kenyan government raised the limit allowed to be owned by foreign companies from 40% to 75%.

NMG, which is debt free, has been one of the best performers on the Nairobi Stock Exchange this year.

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