Singapore Press Holdings' second quarter net profit drops 15% to $71.5 million

Media group Singapore Press Holdings' second quarter net profit fell 15 per cent to $71.5 million from the same period a year ago.

Revenue for its newspaper and magazine business in the three months ended Feb 28 declined 7.1 per cent year-on-year to $224.4 million, due to a fall in advertisement revenue, particularly, in the property and transport sectors.

Rental income rose 4.5 per cent to $50.2 million on the back of higher rental rates achieved by Paragon, while income from The Clementi Mall remained stable.

SPH's earnings per share stood at four cents for the second quarter, down from five cents in the same period last year.

Net asset value per share was $1.35 as at Feb 28, down from $1.39 six months before.

The directors have declared an interim dividend of seven cents a share, which will be paid on May 23.

Chief executive Alan Chan said the group's advertising revenue performance will be driven by market conditions and consumer sentiment in the key advertising sectors.

"Against the backdrop of evolving media consumption trends, we will continue to explore opportunities in new growth areas and other adjacent businesses, while striving for a sustained performance in the core newspaper business," he noted.

SPH shares fell five cents to $4.60 on Friday, before the results were released, after holding steady at a 52-week high of $4.65 on Thursday.

They are still 11.5 per cent higher than a month ago, when the firm announced that it was exploring the establishment of a real estate investment trust, to be listed on the SGX mainboard.

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