Standard Group Sinks Back To Losses After Launching Four New Stations, Two Publications

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The Standard Group has recorded a loss after tax of Ksh484 millionin the year ended December 2019.

The Standard Group houses KTN Home, KTN News, Radio Maisha, The Standard Newspaper, The Nairobian (a weekly tabloid) and newly launched Vybez Radio, Spice FM, KTN Burudani and KTN Farmers.

The company also launched two print products, Pulser and Travelog.

The Group blamed a difficult macro-economic environment in the financial year 2019, more so for the media industry.

Read: Standard Group Set To Fire 170 Employees As Cash Crunch Hits

“Regulatory changes which came in the form of increased taxation in the gaming industry and the review of watershed hours had a particularly significant effect. These regulations had a negative impact on advertisement from the entertainment industry,” said the Group.

The Group’s turnover dropped 14% to at Ksh4.1 billion in 2019 compared to Ksh4.8 billion in 2018.

Direct costs increased 21 percent, closing at Ksh1.46 billion from Ksh1.22 billion in 2018 while other overheads remained constant at Ksh3.3 billion compared to Ksh3.2 billion in 2018.

This week, one of the Groups board member Mr Samuel Lerionka Tiampati resigned, but it is not yet clear whether he resigned as a result of the poor financial performance of the Group.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Paragraph G.05 (1) (b) of the Fifth Schedule of the Capital Markets (Securities) (Public Offers, Listing and Disclosures) Regulations, 2002, the Board of Directors of The Standard Group PLC (“the Company”) wishes to notify its shareholders and the general public of the resignation of Mr. Samuel Lerionka Tiampati, as a Non-Executive Director of the Company, with effect from 3rd April 2020,” a notice from the Group said.

Read: ‘Standard’ Gifts Posho Mill To Vendor Who Has Worked For Them For 51 Years

Mid last month, the company announced retrenchment of at least 170 employees over cash flow issues.

In a notice dated March 18, 2020, Company CEO Orlando Lyomu issued a one month notice after which the company will start shedding off employees declared redundant.

“The Company, therefore, gives a one (1) months’ notice of its intention to declare redundancy with effect from the date hereof. The redundancy will be undertaken in phase,” reads the notice in part.

“All employees who will be declared redundant will be paid as follows: a) Payment for days worked until the exit date. b) Severance pay of 15 days or days indicated in CBA for union workers; for every completed year of service. c) Notice pay as per contract of employment. cl) Payment of leave days accrued and not taken at the time of exit. e) Pension dues in line with the Scheme rules,” added the notice.

The media house has been losing audience after the exit of big names to rival media houses, Joe Ageyo being a notable exit.

Read: Dennis Itumbi Fired By State On His Birthday

Consequently, its fortunes have dwindled and the media house is unable to sustain quality employees.

Recently, KTN and KTN News, TV stations belonging to the media house lost Alex Chamwada’s two shows over non-payment.

Chamwada terminated the contract for Daktari comedy, the Chamwada Report and Daring Abroad.

Also, Nancy Muthoni, the producer of the weekend Property Show has terminated contract with the media house.

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