Book maker bets on digitising texts to grow market share

Book maker bets on digitising texts to grow market share

Longhorn Publishers managing director Maxwell Wahome during the release of the company’s full year result in Nairobi Yesterday/ ENOS TECHE Longhorn Publishers intends to go full force on e-learning as it eyes to expand into new territories within Southern Africa and Francophone territories in the next three years.

The NSE listed firm has set aside Sh100 million to convert about 1000 of its physical products to a digital format by 2021.

Currently, the publisher has digitized over 400 books reaching an audience of 500,000 e-readers. It expects to increase the numbers to 10 million.

The publisher is currently in 11 countries.

“The focus in the next three years will be on our south African market, specifically Zambia, Malawi and Namibia,” Longhorn Acting managing director Maxwell Wahome said.

Interms of digitization, Wahome said the intend to focus more on creative works, this include story books for children and Novels for Adults.

The Centum owned publisher currently has three digital platforms which are the Longhorn E-learning, Longhorn e-reader and Kamusi ya kiswahili mobile application.

“This is what will drive Longhorn business over the next three years, we want to ensure by the time the infrastructure is up, we are ready for the market”.

Yesterday, the publisher announced a 37 percent increase in their net profit for the year ending June 30, 2018 to Sh183 million compared to Sh133 million posted last year.

Turnover went up to 17 per cent to Sh1.6 billion against the previous year turnover of Sh1.4 billion.

Wahome attributed the growth to increase in sales in the primary sector, entry into new markets and growth of the digital offering.Despite the positive performance, Wahome pointed out that piracy as a key s challenge facing the industry.He however lauded their chektag verification system for reducing revenue loss by 10 per cent since its launch last year.The system allows customers to verify whether the book they have bought is a genuine Longhorn book by sending an Short message containing the chektag code to a given USSD code.According to the publisher, 30 per cent of the sectors revenue is Lost to piracy on an annual basis.

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