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Learn Africa grows profit by 24% in 2017

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Learn Africa Plc, a learning resource firm, has posted a turnover of N2.485 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of 24 per cent from the N2.009 billion posted in 2016.    
 
The company also recorded an increase in operating profit from N237.159 million in 2016 to N266.886 million in 2017. 
 
Speaking at the 45th yearly general meeting in Lagos, Chairman, Learn Africa Plc, Emeke Iwerebon, described the previous year as a remarkable one, stating that the company was able to overcome 2016 recession, which was one of the most difficult times of the company’s existence. 

Iwerebon said the business climate in the year under review was generally quite difficult for all operators, including book publishers. 

 
“During the year, all sources of foreign exchange remained high and, most times, our business depended on the parallel market to fund our international business transactions. This made our cost of production unusually high, which also had a similar effect on our operational expenses.

“Similarly, the high level of inflation in the economy of the nation has greatly eroded the purchasing power of the average Nigerian. The situation is quite critical such that books have dropped to the bottom of the scale of preference of most Nigerians,” Iwerebon added. 

Furthermore, he disclosed that the problem of inadequate infrastructure continued to take a toll on Learn Africa’s business, especially as regards irregular electricity supply, deteriorating transport network, congested ports, and poor social infrastructure, which contributed to rising costs, not only for the company, but also for other companies in Nigeria. 

According to him, all these challenges had deleterious effects on the nation’s business fortunes, and made effective planning and/or productive field operations extremely difficult. 

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Hassan Bala, said despite these challenges, the firm was able to improve on the business by increasing revenue to N2.4 billion. “This is a moderate achievement and we can always do better,” he admitted. 

Besides, he said the scourge of piracy has limited its share of the market, which is capable of realising up to N5 billion. “We believe we can still expand our scope in the market share.”

Noting that market share is relative given the competition in the industry, he however said Learn Africa had 50 per cent share of the genuine industry players. 
 
Speaking on efforts to tackle piracy, Bala said the most veritable tool to fight organised crime like piracy is usually the government. “There is very little we can do as an industry. We have always tried to carryout raids on booksellers. Last year, we had a major seizure through the instrumentality of the Copyright Commission, where we were able to deploy about 20 trucks to evacuate books from various publishers from certain locations in Lagos. 

“With the momentum we are gathering, we are likely to impact positively on our own operations by curtailing and limiting the spread to our market share,” Bala said. 
 


In this article:
Emeke Iwerebon
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