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SPH to restore half of pay cuts for staff (BT)

BackDec 02, 2009

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) is restoring half of the pay cuts it introduced in April.

The cost-cutting measure, which came amid adverse business conditions resulting from the global economic crisis, saw the basic monthly salaries of staff earning more than $2,000 cut by 2-10 per cent. But from January next year, half the cuts will be restored. The media group is also giving special one-off amounts to staff to thank them for the sacrifice and contributions they made.

"SPH had to take quick pre-emptive measures by cutting wages, operating costs and budgets. These helped us weather the financial storm," said SPH chief executive officer Alan Chan.

"Singapore's GDP has since seen a strong rebound in the third quarter of 2009 with 14.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth," said Mr Chan.

Citing the net profit of $421.9 million which the group delivered, despite the challenging conditions, for the financial year ended Aug 31, 2009, Mr Chan said: "Given the circumstances, SPH has done well in the financial year 2009."

The full-year earnings were augmented by profits from the group's Sky@eleven condo project.

Mr Chan said that the business outlook remained uncertain despite signs of gradual recovery. "Our advertisement revenues, which saw some improvement in recent months, are expected to move in tandem with the economy. We will have to monitor our cost levels closely while at the same time continuing to exploit opportunities to grow beyond print and beyond Singapore."