mm2 Asia's ad and brand consulting revenue jumps amidst pandemic headwinds

Mm2 Asia witnessed a 4.6% year-on-year increase in revenue for other segments during the 2021 financial year (FY 2021) ended March 2021. The other segments comprise media advertising, news agency activities, development of software for interactive digital media, brand consulting services, streaming of digital films and short video content. The revenue increase comes amidst an overall revenue dip of 68.1% to SG$75.2 million for FY2021 compared to FY2020.

According to mm2 Asia, the overall revenue dip was mainly due to the pandemic which it said has adversely affected its major businesses in movies/drama production, film exhibitions and distributions, as well as live entertainment since January 2020. In particular, the group’s cinema and event businesses were shut for most of the year. The company's operations in Malaysia was severely affected by intermittent cinema closures and operating with reduced seating capacity due to social distancing measures.

On the other hand, revenue from its Singapore operations has improved since the beginning of the second half of FY2021 as compared to the first half, despite reduced seating capacity and other COVID-19 safe management measures. Also, mm2 Asia said its cinema segment has shown signs of a gradual recovery, registering a total revenue of SG$12.3 million during the second half of FY2021 as compared to SG$3.6 million in the first half of FY2021. Separately, COVID-19 also impacted its revenue for concert and events, leading to the deferment of concerts and large-scale events. As a result, mm2 Asia witnessed a 97.8% dip to SG$1.3 million during the financial period.

Despite the challenging start to the year, mm2 Asia reported a rebound in sales during the second half of FY2021 across most business segments, which registered a revenue of SG$58.2 million as compared to SG$20.0 million in the first half of FY2021.

While the group reported a net loss of SG$102.0 million, it also generated positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before impairment charges of SG$7.3 million, and achieved positive operating cash flow of SG$3.9 million in the current financial year. During the period, the group recorded higher impairment losses of SG$38.8 million, due to the impairment of film rights, film intangibles and inventories, films under production and goodwill in the cinema segment. This was partially offset by a SG$12.1 million decline in other administrative expenses following cost containment measures implemented during the year. 

Nonetheless, the group remains upbeat on the back of signs of rebound that have emerged in its operations since the second half of FY2021, and more so with China nearing a complete recovery over the last six months. The group said the challenges of its cinema business will ease once Hollywood starts releasing the content that has been deferred since the beginning of 2020, and as the group executes its cinema transformation plans post-COVID-19.

Executive chairman Melvin Ang said it will continue to expand into non-Chinese content markets such as Thailand and South Korea by utilising its competency and methodologies that have performed well in the Chinese content markets. According to Ang, the company is targeting 40% of its content production revenue to come from the OTT content partnerships it has inked by FY2022.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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