SPH reports lower Q3 net profit of $52.7m

Revenue for SPH's property division was up 1.6 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago, on the back of higher rental and services revenue from the group's retail assets, such as The Seletar Mall (left).
Revenue for SPH's property division was up 1.6 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago, on the back of higher rental and services revenue from the group's retail assets, such as The Seletar Mall (above). ST FILE PHOTO

Earnings down 46% due to impairment charges of $28.4m amid challenging conditions for media business

Challenging conditions for its media business continued to weigh on Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) net profit in the third quarter.

Net profit for the three months to May 31 fell 46.4 per cent from the same period a year earlier to reach $52.7 million.

Impairment charges of $28.4 million mainly related to the magazine business - whose performance was affected by unfavourable market conditions - weighed on earnings in the quarter, the media group said yesterday.

Operating revenue slid $15.2 million or 5 per cent year on year to $291.6 million, amid structural challenges confronting the media industry and the sluggish economic environment.

The media business saw a $15.7 million or 9.2 per cent dip in advertising revenue for the quarter.

  • AT A GLANCE

    NET PROFIT

    $52.7 million (-46.4%)

    REVENUE

    $291.6 million (-5%)

    DIVIDEND

    None

Circulation revenue was stable year on year, aided by the positive impact of newspaper cover price increases implemented on March 1.

SPH's property division fared better despite the softer retail scene, with revenue up $1 million or 1.6 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago.

This came on the back of higher rental and services revenue from the group's retail assets, such as The Seletar Mall.

Excluding the impairment charges, operating expenditure was $700,000, or 0.3 per cent, lower than the corresponding quarter last year.

SPH has embarked on a "comprehensive review of its core media business" given the challenging market conditions, said chief executive officer Alan Chan in a statement yesterday.

"The aim is to better address the evolving needs of our advertising customers and deliver effective, integrated solutions across our various media platforms," he added.

The group will also "critically examine our product portfolio" and identify areas where it can enhance operational efficiency, said Mr Chan.

"We are confident that our continued transformation efforts will position SPH as a forward-looking and efficient organisation, one that is ready to meet the changing demands of a new marketplace."

Earnings per share for the quarter was three cents, down from six cents in the same period a year ago.

Net asset value per share was $2.11 as at May 31, down from $2.24 as at Aug 31 last year.

SPH shares closed four cents higher at $4.07 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'SPH reports lower Q3 net profit of $52.7m'. Print Edition | Subscribe