SPH reports first quarter net profit of $88.8m

SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) today reported its results for the first quarter, which ended on November 30.

Group recurring earnings rose by $2.5 million (2.2 per cent) to $116.9 million, compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

SPH said that this can be attributed to higher contributions from the exhibitions, radio and online classifieds businesses, partially offset by reduced earnings from the newspaper and magazine business and increased finance costs arising from borrowings undertaken for the establishment of SPH REIT.

Revenue for the group's newspaper and magazine business of $255.9 million was 2.9 per cent lower compared to the first quarter of 2013, as advertisement and circulation revenue declined by $5.8 million and $2.3 million respectively.

Revenue for the property segment rose by 5.4 per cent to $50.8 million on the back of higher rental income from Paragon and The Clementi Mall.

Operating revenue from the group's other businesses at $21.8 million was $11.4 million higher than the first quarter of 2013.

The group's radio and online classifieds businesses further contributed to the revenue growth.

Total operating costs rose 1.4 per cent against the first quarter of 2013 to $215.1 million, mainly attributed to higher staff and finance costs which were partially offset by a reduction in materials, production and distribution costs and lower business promotion expenses.

Investment income at $5.1 million was 67.6 per cent higher than the same period last year.

On the outlook for the financial year of 2014, Chief Executive Officer of SPH Mr Alan Chan commented: "The near-term global and domestic economic outlook remains modest with persisting uncertainties. Against the backdrop of an evolving media landscape and changing consumer behaviour, the group continues to evaluate and pursue new growth opportunities whilst striving to revitalise its core media business."