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SPH reports a 15.5% increase in Profit before Investment Income for the quarter

SINGAPORE, 12 January 2006 – Mainboard-listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited (“SPH”) today reported its results for the first quarter ended 30 November 2005. Profit before investment income, which represents the recurring earnings of the media and property businesses, rose 15.5% to $103.0 million from a year ago. Net profit was $98.4 million compared to $220.7 million in the same quarter of the previous financial year which included investment income of $128.5 million from the disposal of a substantial portion of the Group´s interest in StarHub Limited.

With positive business and consumer sentiments, boosted by the continued growth in the economy, operating revenue for the Newspaper, Magazine and Property segments registered year-on-year growth. Despite the cessation of the free newspaper, Streats, with effect from January 2005, revenue for the Newspaper and Magazine segment was up 2.2% to $235.3 million. Property segment saw operating revenues increase 13.3% to $24.0 million. Overall, total Group operating revenue for the quarter dropped 1.6% to $261.2 million consequent to the cessation of SPH MediaWorks´ operations in January 2005.

Total operating expenses fell 10.2% to $160.5 million, largely attributable to cost savings with the cessation of SPH MediaWorks´ operations. Newsprint cost was up 7.2% because of higher prices, while total staff costs was 2.0% lower. The Group´s headcount fell to 3,471 at end of November 2005 from 3,816 a year ago.

Group investment income was $19.5 million from $152.7 million last year which included the gain from the disposal of a substantial portion of the Group´s stake in StarHub.

Commenting on the outlook for the rest of the financial year, Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH said: “The positive sentiment over the economic growth momentum in Singapore will continue to have a favourable impact on the Group´s advertising revenue in the near term. However, persistent global concerns such as pressure on oil prices and interest rates, and risk of avian flu pandemic might have a dampening effect on the pace of growth in the Singapore economy in the medium term. Overall, the Directors expect the Group´s recurring earnings for the current financial year to be satisfactory.”

Please click on attachments to read announcement and fact sheets for first quarter results




Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:
Mr Arnold Gay
Head
Corporate Relations
Singapore Press Holdings
Tel: 6319 1216
Fax: 6319 8150
E-mail: arnold@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 300 million pageviews a month.

SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 50% stake in UnionWorks which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company.