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East Africa publisher looks to e-books to boost sales

Kenya , 24 Feb 2014

East Africa publisher looks to e-books to boost sales

East African publisher Longhorn says that falling sales of hard copy books caused by a 16% value added tax (VAT) on learning material is forcing it to invest more in e-books to grow sales.

While presenting its report for the half year ended December 2013, the company reiterated its commitment to digital learning materials.

“The Kenyan market has continued to face challenges with the introduction of 16% VAT in September 2013 as it widened the textbook to child ratio,” the company said.

Late last year the company also acquired titles from competitor Malkiat Singh.

“Such acquisitions along with electronic publishing are some of the measures that the company hopes will sustain future growth,” the company added.

Last year, Longhorn said that it was ready for the government’s program to provide laptops for primary school children, eyeing the opportunity for growth prospects.

The “company has also strategically invested in e-learning and has prepared digitised content for uploading into the standard one laptops once the government approves them for this purpose, beginning January 2014,” the company’s chairman Francis Nyammo said in a statement in September last year.

Longhorn has been operating in East Africa since 1965 with operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

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