Profit Slump: South African Billionaire Koos Bekker Braces Up
Home African CEOs Profit Slump: South African Billionaire Koos Bekker Braces Up
African CEOs - June 15, 2023

Profit Slump: South African Billionaire Koos Bekker Braces Up

Prosus N.V., the worldwide Internet conglomerate headed by South African tycoon Jacobus Petrus Bekker, commonly referred to as Koos Bekker, has issued a profit warning for its fiscal year 2023.

The profit warning is a direct consequence of the decrease in profitability experienced by Tencent Holdings, the prominent Chinese technology giant, in which Prosus holds a significant 26 percent ownership. 

This development highlights the obstacles Prosus encounters due to its association with Tencent. Nevertheless, Prosus maintains an optimistic outlook, emphasizing the strength of its diversified portfolio and its unwavering dedication to generating value for its shareholders.

Prosus, a subsidiary of the esteemed South African multinational conglomerate Naspers, anticipates a decline in its earnings per share by a range of 21 to 28 percent, ranging between $0.50 to $0.68.

The decrease in earnings can be attributed to regulatory crackdowns and China’s strict Covid Zero policy, which had an adverse impact on consumer and corporate spending, consequently affecting Tencent’s financial performance. However, with the reopening of the country, Tencent witnessed a sales resurgence between January and March.

In an effort to optimize shareholder value and balance its holdings, Prosus has been progressively reducing its ownership in Tencent. Over the course of the past year, Prosus has decreased its stake in Tencent from 29 percent.

What you should know about Prosus

Established in 1997 with the visionary guidance of Koos Bekker, Prosus has evolved into a prominent global consumer Internet group and one of the foremost technology investors worldwide. The company boasts an extensive international portfolio encompassing investments in notable fintech, social media, ed-tech, and food delivery system enterprises.

In spite of the projected decrease in earnings, Prosus shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange have demonstrated resilience, showcasing a notable increase of over 2 percent during the current week.

As a result of this positive trajectory, the share price has reached €68.53 ($74.74), surpassing the significant milestone of €135 billion ($145 billion) in market capitalization.

Koos Bekker, a key figure in the remarkable transformation of Naspers from a South African newspaper publisher to a prominent cable TV operator and e-commerce investor, currently holds a 0.72 percent stake in Prosus N.V.

At the prevailing share price, Koos Bekker’s stake in Prosus N.V. is estimated to be valued at €972 million ($1.06 billion). This substantial holding has played a significant role in Bekker’s fortune, which amounts to $2.5 billion and encompasses investments not only in Prosus but also in its parent company, Naspers.

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