Business Times circulation rises 6.7% - Oct 12, 2005 (BT)

BackOct 12, 2005

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

Business Times circulation rises 6.7%

Oct 12, 2005
The Business Times

The Business Times has shown the largest increase in circulation among newspapers published by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

BT's circulation increased 6.7 per cent in the financial year ended August 2005, according to figures released yesterday with SPH's full-year results.

The paper, which turned 29 recently, was relaunched in September last year to update its look and content. The relaunch received strong support from readers and advertisers.

The only other newspaper in the SPH group to show an increase in circulation in FY2005 was the Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wan Bao, which saw a 1.1 per cent rise in circulation.

The circulation of flagship paper The Straits Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times fell 0.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. But SPH chief executive officer Alan Chan said yesterday the circulation trends of The Straits Times and The Sunday Times have started recovering in the fourth quarter of FY2005. 'Traditionally, when we raise cover prices, you would expect demand to fall,' he said. SPH raised the cover price of The Straits Times - along with that of most of its other papers - in early 2004. The Business Times did not raise its cover price.

The only rival to SPH's newspapers is Today, a free paper published by MediaCorp. A media merger last year saw SPH end up with a 40 per cent stake in Today in return for closing its own free newspaper, Streats. Asked about the threat posed by Today, SPH chairman Lim Chin Beng said: 'Now that we have a 40 per cent stake it is not in our interest to kill it, and it is not in our interest to promote a competitor. Our policy is to produce the best product in the marketplace, something that the public wants. As long as our competitor is not irrational, we will live side by side and let the reading public judge.'