Singapore Press Holdings' Q1 profit jumps on divestment gains, shares rise

Singapore Press Holdings

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 32.1 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, boosted by investment income of $12.4 million comprising mainly gains on divestment.

Net profit attributable to shareholders rose to S$60.4 million in the quarter ended November 30 compared to S$45.7 million in the corresponding period last year, it said in a regulatory filing late on Friday evening.

Operating revenue declined 7 percent to S$258.8 million in the quarter, with the fall in revenue cushioned by cost reductions of $11.7 million against the comparison period.

The Media business continued to be impacted by the disruption to the industry as revenue declined 13.9 percent to $173.9 million.

Advertisement revenue fell 16.7 percent while circulation revenue dipped 7.3 percent in the quarter.

"We will roll out new products to deal with the disruption in the core media business. At the same time, we will continue to pursue other growth opportunities to diversify revenue streams," Ng Yat Chung, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Press said in a statement.

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Singapore Press, the city-state's dominant newspaper publisher, like many of its peers in the industry, is grappling with digital disruption that has eroded readership and advertising revenue, the report said.

The company said last year that it was focusing on removing disruption to its media business as it accelerated a previously announced round of job cuts.

Revenue from the Group's other businesses grew 48.2 percent to $23.6 million with contributions from the aged care business, the company said.

SPH shares gained 2.7 percent to S$2.70 on Monday following the results.

This article was first published on January 15, 2018