Singapore Press Holdings has reported a 20.4 per cent drop in net profit for the year ending August 31, citing lower gain on investment properties as well as falls in advertising revenues as contributing factors.
The overall structural challenges facing the media industry and a sluggish advertising market saw advertising revenue fall by $53.7 million.
The group that publishes Singapore broadsheet The Straits Times reported a 6.3 per cent drop in operating revenue for its media sector, however there was little change of daily average newspaper circulation for most of its publications.
While the fair value gain on investment properties fell to $36.3 million compared to $109.1 million from the previous year, operating revenue from SPH’s property holdings did increase by 12.6 per cent. This rise was attributed to the higher rental income from the group’s shopping malls, including the Steletar Mall which started business this financial year.
SPH chief executive Alan Chan described 2015 as a “year of resilience” but said the operating environment would “likely remain challenging for the year ahead”.
“Despite the tough market conditions, the group has delivered a creditable performance with recurring earnings maintained year-on-year,” Mr Chan said. “Amid the difficult times, the group is seeing growth in its digital media revenues and will continue to evaluate and pursue growth opportunities.”
At an operating level, SPH’s recurring earnings of $353.5 million were 1.3 per cent higher than FY2014. The group’s total revenue of $1204.7 million was 2.1 per lower than FY2014 but total operating expenditure declined by 3.5 per cent year-on-year.
Better performance of the regional online classified business saw a $19.5 million decline in the share of losses of associates and joint ventures.
Partial divestment of a stake in the regional online classified business also brought a $52.9 million gain, which was recognised in the previous year.