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MEDIA & MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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SPH's Saturday Straits Times see fewer property ads

Their proportion in total pages slipped from 10% in June to just 4-5%.

Following the muted sentiment in the property market, property ads in the in the Singapore Press Holdings’ Saturday Straits Times have declined in the fourth quarter of FY2018, UOB Kay Hian revealed.

Property display ads not only saw a progressive decline in page counts, it also saw its proportion against total pages slip from a peak of 10% in late-June to ~4-5% at present, said UOBKH analyst Foo Zhi Wei. The analyst based this on a cursory count of display ads by type and size.

“Tailwinds from the housing market are dissipating, and the de-coupling between print revenue and page count decline seen in the last two quarters may reverse in the future,” Foo said. “It seems unlikely that digital ad revenue growth can fully offset the drop in property advertising given the former only made up 8% of 9MFY2018 revenue,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Straits Times’ total page count decline widened to 14.3% compared to last year. For the three segments, recruit ads page count fell at a softer rate of 13.2% (from -21.4% last year), classifieds fell 15.8% (from -17.9% last year) and display fell 14% (from -6.6% last year).

Total page count decline on a full-year basis was also larger at 13% YoY (from -9.9% last year), led by double-digits declines for all three segments. “Save for the recruit segment, the other two segments saw widening decline rates,” Foo added.

With that, UOBKH expects print revenue to decline 11-12%. “Given the slightly higher percentage decline in page count for 4QFY2018, we expect print revenue to weaken by more than the 9-10% that was seen in prior quarters. This implies a full-year print revenue decline of ~12%,” Foo said.

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