MEDIA & MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SPH profits up 32% to $101.8m in Q4

But it is suffering from greater declines in media revenue.

Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) net profit in Q4 grew 32% YoY to $101.80m. This capped its headline profit of $350.09m for the year.

SPH's profits grew thanks to the $150m gain it made from selling its 33.3% stake in 701Search and a $57m fair value change on Clementi Mall and Paragon, CIMB said.

However, these gains masked its total impairment of $96m from the magazine business, printing line and Mediacorp stake sale, bringing its core net profit 15% down to $239m.

It also suffered from a 13% decline in media revenue. Advertisement revenue fell 17%, whilst circulation revenue dipped 5%.

CIMB analyst Ngoh Yi Sin commented, "We expect its core media earnings to remain weak in view of the ongoing digital disruption in its print business."

Here’s more from CIMB:

SPH also announced the resumption of the restructuring plans that it embarked on in Oct 16, and aims to complete the 10% staff reduction by end-2017 (prev. 2018).

This means cutting another 230 jobs across the group. But we see little relief from these cost savings as management plans to continue to step up its investments in enhancing the capabilities of its systems and workforce. Rising newsprint prices would also weigh on its overall profitability. We expect SPH to incur c.S$13m of retrenchment costs in 1Q18.

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