Singapore Press Holdings reports 9.6% rise in Q3 net profit to $98.2 million

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 - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 9.6 per cent increase in net profit to $98.2 million in the third quarter as higher property and other non-media revenue offset weaker performance from its media business.

Discipline in maintaining its cost base also helped improve earnings for the three months to May 31.

Total revenue for the group was $306.8 million, down marginally by 0.9 per cent from a year ago.

SPH's property unit turned in another quarter of solid performance, with revenue up 16.5 per cent to $59.4 million, boosted by contribution from The Seletar Mall which opened last November. Rental income from Paragon and The Clementi Mall also rose.

Along with improvement in exhibition business on the back of new shows, the performance of non-media segments offset a 5.6 per cent drop in media revenue to $233.1 million. The media business continued to experience headwinds faced by the advertising market, SPH said in a statement on July 9.

The group will continue to weather economic uncertainties and industry challenges, said chief executive Alan Chan.

"Whilst the group has achieved improved performance for the quarter, the road ahead remains challenging given the muted economic outlook, a sluggish advertising market and a media industry confronted with structural challenges," Mr Chan noted.

"The group will continue to focus on sustaining and strengthening our media business. In addition, we will evaluate and pursue new opportunities for growth."

On the expenditure side, material, production and distribution costs dropped 4.8 per cent to $46.4 million, while staff costs were down 2.3 per cent at $91 million. Total costs were 2.4 per cent lower compared to the same period last year at $209.3 million.

Earnings per share for the quarter were unchanged at six cents, while total net asset dropped 3.1 per cent to $2.21 a share since the end of last financial year.

Shares of SPH closed two cents lower at $4.05 ahead of the results announcement.