SPH Posts Net Profit of $99.8m (ST)

BackJul 14, 2012

Profit fall of 13.1% in third quarter due to lower investment income

MEDIA group Singapore Press Holdings reported a 13.1 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit, mainly due to a fall in investment income.

Earnings for the three months to May 31 came in at $99.8 million, about $15 million lower than the $114.8 million seen a year ago.

However, recurring earnings rose 2.2 per cent to $112.6 million on the back of the media and property businesses performing creditably.

Operating revenue grew 0.9 per cent to $331.8 million, largely due to a 12.8 per cent increased contribution from the property segment.

Revenue from newspapers and magazines dipped 0.6 per cent to $261.4 million.

Print advertising revenue remained stable, up 0.4 per cent to $201.8 million, while circulation revenue fell 3.6 per cent to $51.8 million due to fewer copies sold.

Rental income grew 12.8 per cent to $48.7 million.

Clementi Mall recorded rental income of $9.5 million, $3.5 million higher than a year ago – a period when the complex was not fully operational.

Revenue from the Paragon mall in Orchard Road increased $1.9 million, or 5.3 per cent, on the back of higher rental rates.

Operating revenue from SPH's other businesses dropped 4.1 per cent to $21.8 million due to reduced income from the exhibitions business.

Volatility in financial markets sent investment income slumping 59.9 per cent to $9.5 million.

Newsprint costs dropped $1.4 million, or 5.1 per cent, due to lower print volume, while staff costs rose $6 million, or 6.8 per cent, due to salary increments, variable bonus provision, and a higher headcount from the acquisition of ACP Magazines.

Earnings per share for the quarter was six cents, down from seven cents a year ago, while group net asset value was $1.33 per share as of May 31, down from $1.39 as of Aug 31 last year.

SPH expects the results for this financial year to be satisfactory, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Chief executive Alan Chan noted that print advertising revenue will continue to move in tandem with the performance of the Singapore economy.

"In view of the turbulent financial market conditions, the group has adopted a more conservative portfolio asset allocation and returns are expected to be commensurate with this lower risk profile," he added.

SPH shares closed three cents higher at $4.02 yesterday. The results were announced after markets had closed.