SPH continues to see dip in media business, ad and circulation revenue also drop

Singapore Press Holdings Limited has reported a 17.5 % dip in its profits, for the year ended 31 August 2016 (FY2016). Net profit attributable to shareholders was SG$265.3 million, which is SG$56.4 million lower compared to FY2015.

The results for the year included impairment charges of SG$28.4 million, which primarily related to the magazine business whose performance was “affected by unfavourable market conditions”, said SPH. At the operating level, group recurring earnings declined SG$48.3 million or 13.7% year-on-year (yoy) to SG$305.2 million.

Group operating revenue of SG$1,124.3 million was SG$52.7 million or 4.5% lower than FY2015, as the economic slowdown and structural challenges continued to hurt the group’s core media business whose revenue slid by SG$68.3 million or 7.6% yoy. Against FY2015, advertisement revenue was down SG$61.5 million or 9.2%, while circulation revenue saw a dip of SG$5.3 million or 3.0%.

On the business outlook, Alan Chan (pictured), chief executive officer of SPH, said: “FY2016 has been a challenging year marked by a very tough operating environment. Looking ahead, market conditions are expected to remain difficult in view of the uncertain economic outlook and the continuing disruption of the media industry. We reported in the last quarter that the group has embarked on a comprehensive review of its core media business. This exercise is on-going. We will continue to focus on our drive to transform and sustain the media business whilst pursuing growth opportunities.”

According to SPH, the decline in the media business was cushioned by contribution from the property segment, which reported resilient performance despite a sluggish retail environment.  Property revenue rose SG$10.6 million or 4.6% yoy, bolstered by higher rental and services income from the group’s retail assets including.

Revenue from the group’s other businesses grew SG$5.0 million or 11.4% against FY2015, lifted by higher income from the exhibitions and online classifieds businesses.

On the cost front, total costs declined for the third consecutive year despite persistent business cost pressures, a result of the group’s focus on cost discipline and operating efficiency. Excluding impairment charges, operating expenditure fell SG$22.6 million or 2.7% yoy. However, this was largely offset by higher impairment charges during the year.

Fair value gain on investment properties was SG$11.8 million as compared to the SG$36.3 million gain recorded in FY2015. Investment income of SG$51.8 million was flat against the previous year.