SPH confirms closure of Malaysian magazine unit Blu Inc

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) confirmed on Sunday (May 3) that its Malaysian magazine subsidiary, Blu Inc Holdings Malaysia (BIHM) Group, ceased operations from April 30.

SPH's magazines business in Malaysia operated independently under BIHM Group and accounted for a small part of SPH's overall business, the mainboard-listed company said in an exchange filing. SPH owns 70 per cent of BIHM Group, which published titles in Malaysia including Cleo, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar.

"(BIHM Group's) business has been declining over the past few years due to falling revenue and reduced circulation. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is limited visibility as to the duration and extent of the impact on the magazines business in Malaysia," said SPH, which publishes The Straits Times and The Business Times.

On April 30, Malaysian media outlets reported BIHM's closure, citing an internal memo from chief executive Azliza Tajuddin. According to the reports, the memo said that Malaysia's movement control order to contain Covid-19 added to BIHM's existing business pressures, as the firm incurred losses while it tried to invest in digital capabilities.

SPH does not expect the cessation of BIHM to have a material impact on its earnings or net tangible assets per share for the financial year ending August 2020.

Shares of SPH closed unchanged at $1.52 on Thursday.