Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) on Friday (12 January) reported a 13.9 per cent drop in quarterly revenue at its core media division as the newspaper business continued to come under pressure.
Revenue fell to $173.9 million while pre-tax profit dropped 20.2 per cent to $26.5 million in the media business for the first quarter ended 30 November 2017 from the same period a year earlier.
The business was impacted by a 16.7 per cent drop in advertisement revenue and a 7.3 per cent decline in circulation revenue, SPH said in a press release.
At the group level, net profit at the media conglomerate rose 32.1 per cent to $60.4 million.
Operating revenue fell 7 per cent to $258.8 million, with the fall cushioned by cost reductions of $11.7 million and a gain of $5.9 million from dilution of interest on an associate’s IPO listing.
The results were boosted by investment income of $12.4 million, mostly from gains on divestment.
The decline in the media business was offset by the property segment, which recorded a 1.2 per cent rise in revenue to $61.2 million on higher rental income.
Revenue from SPH’s other businesses grew 48.2 per cent to $23.6 million due to contributions from the aged care business.
Headcount rose to 4,302 from 4,107 over the period. Excluding an increase due to new acquisitions, headcount fell to 3,783.
Ng Yat Chung, CEO of SPH, said, “We will roll out new products to deal with the disruption in the core media business. At the same time, we will continue to pursue other growth opportunities to diversify revenue streams.”