Star Media Group to continue defending print amidst 16.1% yoy decline

Star Media Group's print and digital business saw an increase from approximately RM225.54 million in the second quarter (Q2) ended 30 June 2017, to RM339.75 million in the third quarter (Q3) ended 30 September 2017. This comes as the group reported an increase in overall revenue from about RM129.38 million in the previous quarter to about RM130.89 million in Q3.

However, when compared to the same period last year, group revenue in Q3 2017 dropped by 14.8% from RM153.62 million. According to the group's financial announcement, the decrease was due to lower revenue contribution from its print operations. The announcement added that print and digital revenue fell by 16.1% due to lower advertising revenue. This is because advertisers have remained cautious with their spending due to weak market sentiments.

Despite radio broadcasting revenue increasing from about RM19.9 million in Q2 2017 to RM30.1 million in Q3 2017, the announcement noted that advertisers are still cautious.

The segment saw a profit before tax of RM2.05 million as compared to a loss before tax of RM1.27 million, mainly due to cost savings resulting from the disposal of Red FM and Capital FM stations in 2016.

Revenue for television channels decreased to RM2.28 million in Q3 2017 from RM2.98 million in the same period last year due to lower advertising revenue. Also, revenue for the group's event and exhibition segment dropped to RM1.14 million from RM1.24 million due to lower exhibitor's participation.

Meanwhile, the group recorded a higher profit before tax and profit after tax in Q3 2017, which amounted to RM 220.47 million and RM218.20 million respectively. This was due to the gain on disposal of Cityneon, which amounted to RM206.86 million.

According to the group's financial announcement, the group and its board of directors will "continue to defend the print segment" while building on other media platforms. It will also continue to step up its cost-cutting measures, including reduction in headcount. Media-related segments of Star Media Group will continue to enhance its respective media platforms, by continuing to offer more bundled products and creative buys to advertisers. The group will also continue organising client-driven events. These are in a bid to extend their reach to wider audiences.

(Read also: Star Media Group reportedly trimming staff members)

The group has also embarked on its next digital transformation plan with the launch of its own video-on-demand service offers Asian content, much of it on an exclusive basis, and the group is also building its library content to secure more subscribers. Star Media Group expects the radio broadcasting segment to "contribute positively" with the sale of Capital FM and Red FM.

The group is also actively searching for new investment opportunities, especially in the digital sector, to further complement and enhance its existing assets.

As all TV broadcasting companies worldwide are facing challenges, and with digital disruption within the media industry, Star Media Group's board has decided to cease the business operations of Li TV Group to prevent further losses. Despite I.Star Ideas Factory - which forms a part of its events and exhibition business segment - being affected by poor consumer sentiments and weak retail market, the group said it will continue its efforts to strengthen its market position.

Read also:
What should the Star Media Group look to invest in?
Star Media Group appoints two independent directors