Naspers, the global internet group led by South African billionaire Koos Bekker, is increasing its investment in its South African online retail arm, Takealot, in response to the imminent entry of retail giant Amazon.com Inc. into the country’s flourishing e-commerce sector.
This initiative comes as global retail giants, including Walmart Inc., set their sights on South Africa, and Amazon.com Inc. gears up to enter the country’s burgeoning e-commerce market.
Naspers South Africa CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa affirmed the group’s commitment to fortify its businesses in anticipation of Amazon’s impending entry. “We are investing a lot more into our businesses,” stated Mahanyele-Dabengwa. “We are well positioned toward being able to deal with whatever could be coming from Amazon.”
Takealot’s strategic moves ahead of Amazon
Naspers, owns Takealot, South Africa’s leading online retailer. In response to the impending competition, Takealot has expanded its services, introducing one-hour delivery for a diverse range of products. The company aims to solidify its standing in the market before Amazon launches its online delivery services later this year.
Commenting on the imminent competition, Mahanyele-Dabengwa stated, “It’s good for South Africa that Amazon is attracted to coming into the market… At Takealot, I think we’re very well positioned. We know our market very, very well.”
Naspers’ commitment to South Africa’s e-commerce revolution
Headquartered in Cape Town, Naspers boasts a diverse portfolio encompassing publishing, online retail, and venture capital investments in the consumer internet sector. As Naspers positions itself amidst global retail competition, the group’s commitment to South Africa’s burgeoning e-commerce market remains resolute.
Bekker, with a net worth of $2.6 billion, has played a pivotal role in Naspers’ success since taking on the role of CEO in 1997. He presently owns a 0.85-percent stake in Naspers, as well as a 0.72-percent stake in Prosus N.V., a global internet entity under Naspers.
E-commerce triumph: Naspers nears breakeven in robust half-year report
Under Bekker, Naspers reported a significant 112-percent jump in half-year profit, driven by the improved performance of its e-commerce businesses and its stake in China’s Tencent. The company announced that its e-commerce portfolio was now approaching breakeven.
For the six months ending Sept. 30, 2023, Naspers reported a surge in core headline earnings per share, a key indicator of operating performance, to $0.454. This marked more than double the restated $0.214 posted a year earlier.
Naspers shut down its $100-million South Africa-focused venture capital fund, Naspers Foundry, in March 2023. The decision followed the global upheaval triggered by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history.