NBC records increased revenue
The national broadcaster is hard at work to turn its ailing financial fortunes and to improve its revenue stream. The corporation reported positive gains in the revenue sector, which it hopes will be the beginning of bigger and better things for it.
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is slowly dragging itself out of the financial quagmire with a relatively improved revenue stream, despite years of a lack of proper controls systems and numerous bosses who came and went without making an impact.
Under a new regime with Albertus Aochamub as the Editor-in-Chief and Director-General, the corporation, which has had its reputation grinded for various reasons over the years, has set its sights on fixing that.
Testimony to this are the corporation’s latest financial figures, which shows a 9% increase in its revenue, a monumental feat for Aochamub and his team who must repeatedly fend off a barrage of criticism from the public on poor quality programming among others, despite a tight budget and woeful financial injection from Government.
“Revenue is up and costs have been largely contained. Our own revenue for the financial year 2011/12 is N$63, 4 million,” he announced at a media briefing yesterday.
Apart from that, Aochamub, who will be at the helm for two years in August this year, said the revenue was mostly sourced from television licence fees which amounted to N$16,2 million.
Advertising brought in N$41, 5 million, an increase of 4%, while there was a 90% increase in transmitter rental income which posted at least N$4 million which can be attributed to an improved billing system and new clients.
He could, however, not pin-point which other sources of income they would venture into, but simply stated: “watch this space.”
He added that despite that, Government has invested N$105 million for the operational expenditure for the 2011/12 financial, which is N$2 million less than the previous year.
“The total expenditure was contained at N$211 million, an increase of only 3% over the previous year and excludes depreciation,” he said.
The NBC has assets worth millions around the country that are not registered in its name and Aochamub believes that with an Asset Register now in place, these area will be looked into.
“We have made some progress in that regard, but still, there is so much that belongs to us which either through the previous regimes and lacks control measures and maybe by default, ended up in the hands of the regional and local authorities,” he said.
A further downside is that the wage bill is still gobbling up huge sums each month with 68% dedicated to employment related expenses.
Salaries alone take up 58% and Aochamub justified that that corporation was, however, doing its best to contain operational expenditure which includes controllable expenses such as travel and vehicle costs, overtime, artists’ fees and programme material.
He said this has been reduced, adding that transmission costs is a fairly fixed expense and not much can be done to reduce the figure.
“Operational cash flow remains a serious challenge but we are meeting this challenge head on through improved weekly and monthly forecasts,” he said.
NBC’s direct operational expenditure for broadcasting activities increased by 5% to N$31 million, repairs and maintenance took up at least N$3, 1 million, which Aochamub believes, should be more costly in reality.