Star Media Group's print and digital revenue slides as ad spend momentum drops

Star Media Group posted a revenue of RM99.5 million during the second quarter of its financial year which ended on 30 June 2018 (Q2 2018), as compared to RM117.2 million during the same period last year.

Revenue for its print and digital segment dipped from RM204.5 million last year to RM178.5 million in Q2 2018.

Overall, this segment saw a drop in momentum in ad spending after the general election.

Its print and digital segment recorded a higher profit before tax of RM19.33 million in H1 2018 as compared to RM11.06 million in H1 2017 even though the revenue declined by 12.7%. This can be mainly attributed to lower salaries and depreciation expenses from the print segment and higher digital revenue.

The group said in Q2, market sentiment turned into "cautious mode" despite positive events such as the World Cup. As such, this cumulative effect impacted its revenue, the financial statement said.

Despite the segment, the group still expects the print and digital segment to perform better this year "as a result of better cost management". It added that "robust revenue growth" is also expected for digital as more advertisers move into this space, adding that results will also be affected by the retrenchment exercise at its printing plant in Penang.

"Star Media Group is actively searching for new investment opportunities especially in the digital sector to further complement and enhance its existing assets. The fast evolving media landscape into all things digital and the ever changing consumer preferences make it a priority for [the group] to maintain its engagement with its audiences via the latest technologies," it said.

Radio’s slowdown in ad spend

Meanwhile, the radio segment witnessed a decrease in revenue from RM17.9 million in 2017 to RM15.6 million in Q2 2018. Star Media Group said this segment also experienced a slowdown in ad spending during the quarter. However, despite the drop in revenue, the group still recorded a profit before tax of RM0.23 million in Q2 2018, compared to RM0.73 million during the same period last year.

On the other hand, radio generated a revenue of RM15.37 million in H1 2018, up from RM17.35 million H1 2017. The group said in the financial statement that it is "encouraged" by the performance of its radio segment. The restructuring completed in 2016 by positioning the radio to focus on Chinese and Malay audiences allows it to focus and develop in-depth knowledge of its audiences. "Our Radio segment is expected to contribute positively to the group results," the statement added.

Events on the rise

On the other hand, its event and exhibition segment increased from RM5.8 million to RM9.6 million in revenue for the quarter. This was mainly due to lower costs incurred. The group's event and exhibition business also saw an increase in revenue in H1 2018 from RM5.75 million to RM9.57 million. In the events and exhibition business segment, the group will continue its efforts to strengthen its market position and increase its number of events in the upcoming months.

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