Prosus, a subsidiary of Africa’s largest company by market capitalization, Naspers, is planning a 30% workforce reduction over the course of the year, according to reporting by Bloomberg.
According to Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk, the Amsterdam-listed Prosus, one of Europe’s largest technology investors, will let go of staff across 15 locations, including its corporate centres in Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and South Africa. He cited the economic downturn as the main propellant for the cuts.
“The reality is that the macro environment has become more difficult and has changed a lot…this also means that the cost of capital has changed a lot, as interest rates go up and risk premiums also go up,” van Dijk said in an interview.
Van Dijk further stated that Prosus will also look to cut costs at the over 80 companies in its portfolio, planning to wield the proverbial axe at “different times and scales.” These moves, van Dijk said, will help Prosus become profitable by 2025.
In November last year, Naspers announced shaky 2022H1 financial results, citing, among others, the impact of higher inflation and interest rates on consumers’ spending power.
Prosus also had a tough 2022, as it saw its core headline earnings decrease by 58%, its headline earnings decrease by 104%, and its earnings per share decrease by as much as 87%.
Last year, van Dijk sold R1.6 billion in Naspers shares in two weeks in the midst of a share repurchase programme which saw Naspers and Prosus sell a portion of their Tencent stake to buy back their own stock.
Naspers stock fell by as much as 2% from the opening price on Wednesday following the cutoffs news.