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JOHANNESBURG - Tiso Blackstar managed to turn its R677.2 million loss of last year into a net profit before interest and tax of R284m for the year to end June. 

The group attributed this improvement to its core business which increased its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by 25.8% to R131.2m during the period. 

The group said it faced revenue declines in traditional media, but had made significant investment in digital to position the business for the future. Media generated revenue of R2 billion for the year. 

Newspaper Ebitda grew by 37.2% after declines in recent years. 

The group’s non-core assets include investment in a steel company. Consolidated Steel Industries increased revenue by 26% and Ebitda by 63.1%

Revenue of R2.4bn and Ebitda of R90.9m were reported despite a struggling South African economy, which has recorded significant year-on-year shrinkages in the construction and steel fabrication industries. 

The board has recommended a final dividend of 4.66 cents per ordinary share, which is subject to shareholder approval at its AGM.