•The materials on Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) and the Primary Course Books led to a corresponding two per cent growth in the company’s bottom line.
Longhorn Publishers Plc has announced a jump in pre-tax to Sh185 million in the year ending June 30, one percent increase from Sh183 million in 2018.
It attributed the performance to the rollout of the new competency-based curriculum (CBC), in which saw the firm distribute two million textbooks to 23,000 public primary schools in Kenya.
The new 2-6-3-3-3 competency-based programme has replaced the 8-4-4 education system and is believed to help learners develop skills at a young age and prepare them early for the labour market.
The implementation involves the change of some books used.
“ The materials on Early Childhood Development and Education and the Primary Course Books were well received, with a corresponding two per cent growth in the company’s bottom line,” Group managing director Maxwell Wahome said.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company also attributed the performance to growth in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania and increased sale of e-learning materials.
“The strategic focus on regional expansion has begun to bear fruit, with our investment in market-specific content, particularly for Uganda and Tanzania, realising a 41 per cent revenue growth in these markets,” said Wahome.
The firms chief finance and operations officer Joseph Kiruri said the company cut production costs to grow operating profit before tax from Sh358 million in 2018 to Sh360 million, despite revenues remaining flat.
"As a result, gross profit margins increased by six per cent and operating expenses decreased by three per cent,” Kiruri said.
The board has recommended a final dividend payment of Sh142,548,000, equating to Sh0.52 per share.
This represents a 23.9 per cent increase in payout from last year’s dividend of Sh115 million or Sh0.42 per share.
The company intends to expand in French-speaking African countries.
“We have already started making investments in Cameroon and we expect to start generating returns in 2020,” Wahome said.