MEDIA & MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore Press Holdings Q3 profits up 64.3% to $47.44m

It found growth in its aged care and education businesses, but media revenue remained weak.

Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) profits for the third quarter of 2018 jumped 64.3% from $28.87m last year to $47.44m.

Operating revenue for its media and property segments both fell by 8% and 2.4% to $167.94m and $60.1m respectively. Media revenue was down as advertisement and circulation revenue continued to fall by 10.1% and 5% to $12.7m and $2m, respectively. Lower rental income pulled down property revenue.

“As the group continues to sharpen its media capabilities in the face of digital disruption, it is seeing early signs of a slower decline in media revenue,” SPH said. It added that it is monitoring the potential impact of property cooling measures on The Woodleigh Residences, a joint project between SPH and Kajima Development.

Revenue of its other businesses (online classifieds, events and exhibitions, aged care, education and the New Media Fund) soared by 38.5% to $22.03m. SPH attributed the growth to its aged care and education businesses.

“The group's new strategy is to focus on the acquisition of cash-yielding real estate assets overseas. It is also preparing the Aged Care business for overseas expansion,” the company said.

Materials, production and distribution costs fell 7.5% to $2.8m due to lower revenue. Staff costs also dropped 6.3% to $5.9m due to lower bonus provision.

Impairment charges on goodwill and intangibles of $22.3m and $37.8m were recognised in 3Q2018 and 3Q2017 respectively. “The charges in 3Q2018 primarily related to the online classifieds business due to challenging market conditions,” SPH said.

Investment income soared 87.4% to $21.9m due to profit on disposal of investments. The share of results of associates and joint ventures improved by $2.7m due to a gain recognised on disposal of an investment.

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