Increased Revenue, Financial Discipline Give NBC Surplus

STATE broadcaster Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has continued to be on the road to financial stability for a second year running, recording a surplus of N$14 million in the 20132014 financial year compared to a deficit of N$2 million the previous year.

Director general Albertus Aochamub said on Monday evening when he released the preliminary results that “the NBC is beyond break-even.”

The NBC has been a target of public and parliamentary criticism in recent years due to poor financial results, which have seen several directors general and board members fired by the government.

Aochamub said the NBC took stock of the negative publicity received and took steps to improve its financial performance.

Some of these steps included the achievement of a surplus of some N$14 million – before depreciation – from a N$2 million deficit the year before.

The financial results showed an 8% revenue increase and a disciplined targeted spending approach.

“The 8% annual revenue increase was attributed to an annual 15% increase in TV licence revenue, a 1% aertising revenue increase and an increase of N$2,5 million in other revenue streams and finance income. This achievement was despite a slight drop of 5% in transmitter rental income which was exceptionally high last year due to backlog invoicing,” said Aochamub.

Despite breaking even, the NBC will get over N$1 billion over three years in State funding.

In the 201213 financial year, the corporation’s revenue increased by 10% to reach N$67,9 million with the government providing funding of N$154,3 million.

The deficit was N$48,5 million in 201112. Budget documents say the money for the NBC will be used for operating expenses and infrastructure development, which includes transmitter network improvement, implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration and upgrading of studios.

The performance of NBC is in sharp contrast with that of other state-owned media institutions. The loss-making NamZim newspapers, a joint venture with the Zimbabwean government, will be handsomely funded from state coffers.

NamZim newspapers will receive N$39 million over three years, New Era, also a loss-making entity, will also receive N$39 million over the same period while the Namibia Press Agency will receive N$62 million over three years.

The NBC says it covers more than 95% of the population. It further broadcasts beyond the Namibian borders on the DSTV audio bouquet and online on its website.

The NBC this week signed an agreement with TV Worx CC for the distribution of the NBC Digital TV decoders nationwide.

The NBC is presently migrating from analogue to digital TV broadcasting. As at 5 July, 53,6% of the population were receiving a Digital Terrestrial TV signal already, compared to the present analogue coverage of 67%. It is expected that by June 2015, the Digital TV signal would cover 67% of the population.

Aochamub said Namibia would meet the global deadline ahead of schedule.

“We are supremely confident that Namibia will be among leading African countries to comply with the deadline. We would certainly be number three after Tanzania and Mauritius,” he said.

Source : The Namibian

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