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Publisher eyes digital, regional market for growth

Longhorn publishers is banking on the digital market and expanding into the regional market to propel its growth in the next four years.

The publisher posted a 38% growth in revenue for the year ended June 2018 raking in Shs.1.7 billion in revenue and Shs.183 million in profit after tax and have announced a Shs.115 million dividend payment to shareholders.

Speaking on Friday during the Annual General Meeting (AGM), Longhorn Managing Director (MD), Maxwell Wahome said the growth has been driven by their regional expansion where their investments in South Sudan, Zambia, Uganda and Malawi continue to grow and give returns on investment.

“In South Sudan for instance we have worked in conjunction UNICEF to develop a product for their education system from grade one to form four. In Kenya we have sold 3 Million books to over 22, 000 schools,” explained Wahome.

The MD said that their regional markets contribution was Shs.150 million from South Sudan and Shs.200 million from Zambia.

He added that they are venturing into Francophone countries and are currently looking for a local distributor to collaborate with.

According to Wahome their strategy for the years 2018-2022 is to grow their digital products and they have so far digitized 3, 000 products which are available in interactive and user friendly formats.

“We have developed a Skiza tune on informational material which aims to get 3 million people and earn sh 4.5 million per day. We have been developing content for over 40 years and we now want to use the experience and focus on education and entertainment (Edutainment) to capture a large market. One of our books “Blossom in Savannah” is soon to appear on TV as a series,” said the MD.

He added… “In Tanzania we are waiting to introduce our Kamusi Kuu which has been approved by the Tanzania Institute of Education and will soon be launched by the Tanzania President, John Magufuli some time in December.

He said that piracy is a huge problem but they have made huge strides in addressing the issue by working closely with the Kenya Copyrights Boards by partnering with them to intercept counterfeit products at the port.

“We have put in place security measures in some of our prime products which is a scratch card placed on the book and we can use it to trace the product all the way to the consumer,” said Wahome.

On the recent issue of books with errors, Wahome said that none of their books has been recalled since they have internal mechanisms to minimize error.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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