The markets certainly took a dim view yesterday of this company`s year-end results, released on Tuesday evening. The share price shed 21c to R5,59, which seems rather strange because HCI management said “the group has had an extremely successful year”. Despite what HCI management says, the group`s results make depressing reading. If it hadn`t been for a once-off profit of R67,6 million from the unbundling of Saflife, the bottom line would have plunged some R57 million. What’s more, for the next three years management will have to contend with losses from its 34,1 percent investment in Midi TV, which owns e-TV. HCI says it is taking a “hands-on approach” (something Jonathan Procter, the ousted MD, is certainly able to attest to) to ensure Midi contributes handsomely to group profit. But what we can`t make sense of is the statement that 94.7 Highveld Stereo, in which it has a 51 percent indirect stake, is “growing listenership”. According to the latest Rams figures, Highveld Stereo posted a 17 percent year-on-year decline in listeners. In the meantime, HCI says its prospects remain promising, but we await more detailed figures than those presented to investors on Tuesday to see exactly what is happening.

Source: Business Report – Marc Hasenfuss