SINGAPORE, 12 April 2007 – Mainboard-listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) today reported its results for the second quarter ended 28 February 2007. The Group registered profit before investment income of $84.0 million compared to $83.1 million a year ago. Net profit rose 27.7% to $108.0 million from $84.6 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
The Group´s operating revenue grew 4.5% to $250.6 million. Revenue for the Newspaper and Magazine operations rose 4.0% to $218.1 million mainly driven by the 4.6% increase in print advertisement revenue to $161.6 million and the 2.1% growth in circulation revenue to $51.2 million. Property segment posted a 9.0% increase in revenue over last year to $27.3 million.
Total operating expenses at $169.7 million were up by $11.1 million (7.0%) mainly as a result of increase in staff costs. Staff costs were up $7.3 million (11.1%) mainly due to annual salary increment as well as increases in staff variable bonus provision and headcount. The increase in staff costs was in line with the Group´s ongoing efforts to ensure that staff salaries remain competitive as well as to incentivise and motivate staff to excel in their performance. Total headcount as at end February 2007 was 3,628 compared to 3,472 a year ago mainly due to the inclusion of headcount relating to new subsidiaries as well as new print and online initiatives. Materials, consumables and broadcasting costs, depreciation as well as other operating expenses were higher by $1.2 million (2.9%), $0.7 million (5.8%) and $1.9 million (5.3%) respectively in line with increased business activities.
Group investment income improved 61.7% to $31.6 million against $19.5 million last year as a result of higher profit on sale of internally-managed investments and higher gain from externally-managed investments.
For the half year ended 28 February 2007, the Group registered profit before investment income of $191.3 million compared to $186.2 million a year ago while net profit rose 20.4% to $220.3 million from previous year´s $183.0 million.
The profits for Sky@eleven, the exclusive freehold condominium project of the Group, will be recognised using percentage-of-completion method over the life of the project and disclosed accordingly.
Commenting on the outlook for the rest of the financial year, Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH, said: “Positive business and consumer sentiments are expected to continue providing good support to sustaining the Group´s print advertisement revenue. With ongoing efforts to boost readership of the Group´s publications, circulation sales are expected to remain at sustainable levels. Paragon is expected to ride on strong sentiments surrounding the property market and continue to generate healthy rental yields. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Directors expect the recurring earnings for the current financial year to be satisfactory.”
The Directors have declared an interim dividend of 7 cents per share which will be paid on 15 May 2007. These dividends are on tax-exempt 1 tier basis.
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Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
For more information, please contact:
Chin Soo Fang
Corporate Communications Division
Singapore Press Holdings
Tel: 6319 1216
Fax: 6319 8150
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.
Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 100 million pageviews with 6 million unique visitors every month. SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; recruitment and job search service, ST701; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.
SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 in English.
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.
For more information, please visit the SPH website: www.sph.com.sg