THE print media faces the same challenges the music industry has faced
for several years, according to listed media and entertainment group
Avusa, writes Jocelyn Newmarch in Business Day.

Avusa CEO Prakash Desai, writing in the annual report, said print media had to face the challenge presented by changing consumption habits in a digital age.

Newspaper sales are declining in most countries as readers switch to online news. Avusa has a heavy newspaper sector exposure as it owns several newspapers, including the Sunday Times, the Sowetan, Sunday World, the Eastern Cape-based Daily Dispatch and The Herald, and 50% of Business Day.

Desai said the group had largely maintained newspaper circulation while magazine readership rose.

Avusa reported a 58% rise in profit to R329m for the year to March from R208m previously.

Desai said Avusa's first quarter, the June quarter, had been subdued, and this was likely to continue in the short term.

Avusa increased its emphasis on cash retention and prioritised operational efficiencies, cost containment and new revenue opportunities to grow cash flow, he said.

Businesses performing below par would get attention.

"All our businesses are driven by content. Print media today faces the same challenges that the music industry has faced for several years — changing content habits in a technology age," said Desai.

To meet this challenge, Avusa was investing in digital activities, even where a return was expected only in future years, he said.

Click here to read the full report, posted on