Kagiso Media plans to increase its broadcasting portfolio by bidding for new radio licences in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape when the regulator invites applications later this year, writes Thabiso Mochiko in Business Report.

Kagiso Media owns 80 percent of Jacaranda FM and non-controlling stakes in Cape Town's Heart, Gauteng-based Kaya FM, KwaZulu-Natal's iGagasi, and OFM, which has a footprint in Free State, Northern Cape and NorthWest.

Kagiso said it had taken legal advice to ensure its strategy would not violate ownership regulations.

"We have an appetite for more licences," said Murphy Morobe, the chief executive of Kagiso Media.

He said its minority shareholding in existing radio stations was unlikely to hamper the bid for new licences.

Kagiso Media's broadcasting experienced a slowdown in advertising spend, with operating profit declining by 2 percent to R130 million while revenue increased by 6.9 percent to R260.1 million.

Sales took a knock from a decline in motoring industry advertising, while the retail, financial and petroleum sectors had shown increases.

But Morobe does not expect the increases to continue in the next six months.

"We have to tighten our belts and look at ways to contain costs," he said.

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