Shah Karim al-Husayni, also known as Aga Khan IV, is on course to receive Ksh138.93 million ($1.2 million) in dividends from his controlling stake in Kenya-based Nation Media Group (NMG) after the leading media group reported a 929-percent increase in earnings.
Aga Khan IV, who founded the Kenya-based media conglomerate in 1959, owns 44.7 percent of the company through The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.
NMG has grown into the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa, with print, broadcast, and digital operations that attract and serve audiences in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda, under the leadership of Aga Khan IV, also known by the religious title, Mawln Hazar Imam.
The $1.2-million dividend is expected to be paid from the group’s retained earnings of Ksh7.61 billion ($65.7 million) as part of the board of directors’ approval of a Ksh1.5 per share cash distribution.
The dividend recommendation by the Kenyan media group’s board, totaling Ksh285.44 million ($2.47 million) comes on the heels of NMG’s impressive financial performance at the end of 2021.
NMG’s profit increased by 929 percent in 2021, from Ksh47.9 million ($413,400) in 2020 to Ksh493.1 million ($4.26 million), thanks to a 12-percent increase in revenue from Ksh6.8 billion ($58.73 million) to Ksh7.61 billion ($65.7 million).
The strong growth in earnings is attributable to the recovery of print advertising sales, increased revenue from digital products and services, and continued growth of broadcasting revenue. Furthermore, improved debt collection and effective cost management boosted the group’s profitability.
As a result of the strong performance, the board of directors approved a dividend of N1.5 ($0.01295) per share to its shareholders, totaling Ksh285.44 million ($2.47 million). Aga Khan IV, who owns a substantial 44.7-percent stake in NMG, will receive the majority of the dividend.