Singapore Press Holdings profits sank 25.7% to $29.69m in Q2

Lower ad and circulation revenue pulled down the company's performance.

Singapore Press Holdings’ profits were down 25.7% to $29.69m in the second quarter of 2019 from $39.93m in the previous year, according to its financial statement. Revenue dipped 4.4% from $233.70m to $223.33m.

Group revenue dipped 4.4% from $233.7m to $223.3m amidst lower print advertisement revenue, which fell 16% to $14.1m, and lower circulation revenue, which slipped 8.8% to $3.2m. The revenue declines were cushioned by rental revenue of $6.2m from SPH’s UK student accommodation portfolio and $3.2m from Figtree Grove Shopping Centre in Australia.

Revenue for SPH’s media business declined 10.1% to $33.4m as print advertisement revenue dropped 12.3%. The newspaper business accounted for 10.5% or $18.6m of the reduction, partly due to shorter festive advertising window between Christmas and Chinese New Year this year.

On the digital front, newspaper digital advertisement revenue grew 15.1% to $1.7m. Circulation revenue plunged 91.7% as daily average newspaper print sales decreased by 71,129 copies (12.4%), whilst daily average newspaper digital sales increased by 23,081 copies (11.8%).

Other operating income fell 31.6% from $6.6m in Q2 2018 to $4.5m in Q2 2019, mainly due to interest income on shareholders’ loans for The Woodleigh Residences and The Woodleigh Mall in 2Q 2018.

Meanwhile, SPH noted a 9% cut in materials, production and distribution costs from $33.2m to $30.2 due to lower revenue of its media business. Staff costs also fell 12.9% to $79.9m due to lower headcount and bonus provision.

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