Chief Executive Officer’s Statement
The operating environment remained difﬁcult in 2020 and the situation was worsened by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government introduced lockdown measures in an effort to control Covid-19 infections. The restrictions in the movement of people, Covid 19 coupled with other challenges, resulted in reduced economic activity and subsequently an estimated -4.1% contraction in the country’s GDP.
Despite the difﬁcult environmental challenges, there were notable improvements in the foreign currency availability situation following the introduction of the auction system in the second half of the year resulting in price and exchange rate stability being achieved. To that end, year on year inﬂation fell to 348.5% as at 31 December 2020 compared to an all high of 837.5% recorded in July 2020.
In view of the pandemic, the Company dedicated more efforts in ensuring the safety of its employees and its viability by focusing on enforcing Covid 19 safety measures and a strict cash ﬂow management regime respectively. Generation of foreign currency remained topical although it was signiﬁcantly affected by the enforcement of Covid-19 measures as countries closed their borders to curb the spread of the virus. The disruption in the entertainment and media industry opened opportunities for the Company to diversify and launch multiple platforms that continued to attract diverse audiences and advertising from international brands. The Company made signiﬁcant progress in its diversiﬁcation thrust following the licensing by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) of its television station (ZTN) in November 2020. ZTN is now poised for improved ﬁnancial performance following the expansion of its footprint. The Company will be able to launch ZTN in line with the regulator’s 18 months-timeframe. The 360 degrees’ media solution provides better opportunities for the Company to provide captivating content on multiple platforms around the clock to create the necessary audiences, which offer great value to advertisers.
The Company’s competitive advantage remains its people, who have been able to transform it and save its position as the biggest and sole listed media company in Zimbabwe. The team has continued to monitor global trends and implement solutions that work in the local environment at the same time generating content with a global appeal.