SPH full-year net profit falls 17.5% to $265.3 million

Singapore Press Holdings said its net profit for the full year ended Aug 31 fell 17.5 per cent to $265.3 million.
Singapore Press Holdings said its net profit for the full year ended Aug 31 fell 17.5 per cent to $265.3 million. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings said its net profit for the full year ended Aug 31 fell 17.5 per cent to $265.3 million.

This included impairment charges of $28.4 million, which primarily related to the magazine business, whose performance was affected by unfavourable market conditions.

Excluding the impairment charges, net profit would have fallen by 11.2 per cent.

At the operating level, recurring earnings declined 13.7 per cent to $305.2 million, while revenue dipped 4.5 per cent to $1.12 billion, as the economic slowdown and structural challenges continued to hurt the company's core media business.

The media business saw revenue slide by 7.6 per cent from a year ago as advertising revenue fell 9.2 per cent and circulation revenue dipped 3 per cent.

The decline in the media business was cushioned by contribution from the property segment, which put in a resilient performance despite a sluggish retail environment.

Property revenue rose 4.6 per cent from a year ago, bolstered by higher rental and services income from the company's retail assets, including The Seletar Mall, which started business in November 2014.

Revenue from SPH's other businesses grew 11.4 per cent, lifted by higher income from the exhibitions and online classifieds businesses.

SPH chief executive Alan Chan said it has been a challenging year, marked by a "very tough" operating environment.

"Looking ahead, market conditions are expected to remain difficult in view of the uncertain economic outlook and the continuing disruption of the media industry," he added.

"We reported in the last quarter that the group has embarked on a comprehensive review of its core media business. This exercise is ongoing."

SPH will continue to focus on its drive to transform and sustain the media business, whilst pursuing growth opportunities, he said.

SPH directors have proposed a final dividend of 11 cents a share. Together with the interim dividend of 7 cents, the total dividend payout for the full year will be 18 cents a share.