SPH Q1 net profit down 43.8%

Media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 43.8 per cent slide in first quarter net profit, which came in at $45.7 million.
Media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 43.8 per cent slide in first quarter net profit, which came in at $45.7 million.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 43.8 per cent slide in first quarter net profit, which came in at $45.7 million.

Group operating revenue for the three months ended Nov 30, 2016 fell by 6 per cent over the same period a year ago to $278.3 million.

SPH said the slowing economy and ongoing disruption of the media industry continued to weigh on the media business, which saw a 9.5 per cent drop in revenue, largely due to a 13.5 per cent fall in advertisement revenue.

However, circulation revenue was up 1.8 per cent against the same quarter a year ago, bolstered by the positive impact of newspaper cover price increases implemented on Mar 1, 2016.

The fall in net profit was due largely to a $28.2 million year-on-year drop in group recurring earnings, the company said in a statement.

This was attributable to charges of $15.9 million from a review of its media business and impairment of an associate company, and a $12.6 million decline in profits in the media business.

In addition, the first quarter also saw a net loss from investments of $1.8 million compared with a net gain of $10.3 million in the corresponding period a year ago, mainly due to a fair value loss on forward hedges for portfolio investments.

On the business outlook, SPH chief executive Alan Chan said: "Having completed our comprehensive business review in October 2016, we are forging ahead with our transformative agenda to strengthen the group's position in an increasingly tough economic and media environment.

"We will focus on continued innovation and investment in the media business to stay ahead and stay relevant, improve cost efficiency with a leaner organisation and wage restraint measures, and grow business adjacencies to diversify revenue streams."