Singapore Press Holdings Q2 net profit down 22.3% on absence of one-off gains

The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) News Centre at 1000, Toa Payoh North.
The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) News Centre at 1000, Toa Payoh North.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Media company Singapore Press Holdings said its second-quarter net profit fell 22.3 per cent from the same period a year ago, to $54.1 million.

Last year, the company had benefited from profits on the sale of investments to fund its Medium Term Note redemption.

Operating earnings for the three months ended Feb 29 was flat at $68.1 million.

Revenue declined 4.1 per cent from the same period a year ago to $259.3 million, due to the decline in the media business, whose performance was affected by a difficult economic environment and structural issues confronting the media industry.

For the quarter, media business revenue fell 6 per cent from a year ago, mainly due to a dip in advertisement revenue.

Despite a depressed retail environment, revenue for the property segment inched up 0.9 per cent.

The steady growth was achieved on the back of higher rental and services revenue from SPH's retail assets.

Revenue from the firm's other businesses rose 9.5 per cent, boosted by higher contribution from the exhibitions business.

Investment income dropped 62.4 per cent from a year ago to $7.2 million.

SPH said it has remained vigilant over its expenditures amid a challenging operating environment.

For the quarter, the consistent focus on cost discipline and operating efficiency continued to bear fruit, with total operating expenditure brought down by 5.4 per cent year-on-year to $196.1 million.

SPH chief executive officer Alan Chan said the second quarter was marked by a very difficult operating environment, but noted that SPH continued to turn in a respectable performance.

"The road ahead is expected to remain challenging, given the uncertain economic outlook and fast evolving media landscape. Amid the challenging times, the group will continue its efforts to transform the media business and pursue growth opportunities," he noted.

The directors of SPH have declared an unchanged interim dividend of 7 cents per share, which will be paid on May 24.