Naspers Expects Core HEPS to Surge Over 100% Despite Lower Tencent Gains

  • Core headline earnings per share are expected to increase by 107% to 113% for continuing operations.
  • Earnings per share are expected to decrease due to a smaller gain from the sale of Tencent shares.
  • OLX Autos businesses have been classified as discontinued operations, impacting restated financial figures for 2023.

Naspers Limited has released a trading statement for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024. The company expects significant growth in core headline earnings per share (HEPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS), driven by improved profitability across its e-commerce and equity-accounted investments, particularly Tencent.

Financial Highlights

Naspers anticipates a remarkable increase in core headline earnings per share, showcasing the group’s robust financial health and strategic focus. Here are the key financial expectations:

Continuing Operations

Metric31 March 2023 (Restated)31 March 2024 (Expected)% Change
Earnings per share (EPS)2,014 US cents(491) – (345) US cents(24.38%) – (17.13%)
Headline earnings per share (HEPS)143 US cents645 – 653 US cents451.05% – 456.64%
Core headline earnings per share546 US cents584 – 619 US cents107.00% – 113.40%

Total Operations

Metric31 March 202331 March 2024 (Expected)% Change
Earnings per share (EPS)2,078 US cents(555) – (409) US cents(26.70%) – (19.70%)
Headline earnings per share (HEPS)119 US cents669 – 677 US cents562.18% – 568.91%
Core headline earnings per share503 US cents627 – 662 US cents124.70% – 131.61%

Ecommerce and Investment Gains

Naspers’ e-commerce businesses demonstrated peer-leading growth and accelerated profitability, supporting the company’s consolidated earnings. The strong performance of these businesses is a significant factor in the anticipated growth of core headline earnings per share.

Impact of Tencent Shareholding

Earnings per share are expected to decline due to a smaller gain from the reduced sale of Tencent shares this year compared to the previous year. Additionally, the group’s earnings from equity-accounted investments, including Tencent, decreased mainly due to lower gains on acquisitions and disposals within Tencent.

Discontinued Operations: OLX Autos

The group has made significant progress in exiting its OLX Autos businesses. All operations that have been disposed of, classified as held for sale, or closed by March 31, 2024, are presented as discontinued operations. The financial impact of this exit is reflected in the restated figures for the year ended March 31, 2023.

Restated Financial Information

The prior period’s published earnings have been adjusted to reflect the impact of the exit of the OLX Autos businesses:

Adjustments

Metric31 March 2023 (Published)31 March 2023 (Restated)
Earnings from total operations$4,331 million$4,331 million
Earnings from continuing operations$4,102 million$4,198 million
Earnings from discontinuing operations$229 million$133 million

Impact of Cross-Holding Removal

The successful removal of the cross-holding between Naspers and Prosus was concluded in September 2023. This does not affect the weighted average number of Naspers shares because the shares held by Prosus were treated as treasury shares.

Core Headline Earnings Per Share

Core headline earnings per share are considered a key indicator of Naspers’ operating performance. This measure adjusts for non-operational items to provide a clearer picture of the underlying business health.

Core Headline Earnings Adjustments

Adjustments include:

  • Equity-settled share-based payment expenses
  • Fair-value remeasurement of cash-settled share-based incentive expenses
  • Deferred taxation income from first-time recognition of deferred tax assets
  • Fair-value adjustments on financial and unrealized currency translation differences
  • One-off gains and losses from acquisitions and disposals
  • Amortization of intangible assets recognized in business combinations

Conclusion

Naspers’ financial results for the year ended March 31, 2024, reflect strong growth in core headline earnings per share. The group’s strategic focus on its e-commerce businesses and improved profitability from its investments has paid off, despite the challenges posed by a smaller gain from the sale of Tencent shares and lower earnings from equity-accounted investments. Full financial statements will be published on June 24, 2024.