The MultiChoice Group (MCG) is a complex business. It operates across multiple markets with different regulatory requirements, volatile foreign exchange rates, customers with varying economic circumstances, emerging technologies and the rising cost of content. MCG's CEO explains why--despite these challenges the group's success ultimately depends on delivering and protecting value.
The African broadcasting industry remains challenging--audiences across the continent are increasingly spoiled for choice, driven by changes in technology and access to more content. Despite these challenges, our primary focus remains squarely on delivering value to our viewers across this diverse continent. It is in this arena that the company continues to hold its own, as reflected in our customer base of more than 15m households and our trading profit of R7bn reported for the 2019 financial year.
What's certainly counting in our favour is the fact that Africa is one of the fastest-growing video entertainment markets in the world. Unlike other global markets, it has a growing youth market that is feeding a burgeoning labour market, which, combined with the high rate of urbanisation, is creating demand for entertainment and other services. As the continent's middle class grows and discretionary income levels increase, MCG sees great opportunity in being one of Africa's premier entertainment brands.
Although the challenges may be considerable, MCG has a long history in over 50 African countries. This experience and intrinsic market knowledge means we are well placed to deliver maximum value to our customers through our channels --both new and existing. Although much has been made of a decline in premium-segment customer numbers in South Africa and the potential threat posed by streaming and OTT content, we have continued to rapidly grow our subscriber base and improved our retention rates. Both of these indicate a relevant and profitable future.
Delivering value, of course, is what drives our profitability and long-term sustainability. It is worth noting that value creation is also measured in various ways. On a continental level, it means delivering entertainment to more than 15.m African households. To governments, value is measured through contributions to national GDP and income from taxes. To our distributors, agents and installers the value lies in business opportunities. To the video industry, value is created by a growing demand for local content. For...