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SPH Q1 Earnings Dip 6.6% To $88.8m (BT)

BackJan 15, 2014

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has reported a 6.6 per cent dip in first-quarter net profit, due to a reduced share of property earnings and a slower newspaper and magazine business.

SPH, which owns The Business Times, posted net profit of $88.8 million or six cents per share for the three months ended Nov 30, 2013, as newspaper and magazine operating revenue slipped 2.9 per cent to $255.9 million.

Advertising revenue declined by 2.8 per cent or $5.8 million, while circulation revenue eased 4.7 per cent or $2.3 million for the quarter.

The group's other businesses fared better. SPH, which holds a majority stake in the mall-focusedSPH Reit, said that property revenue rose 5.4 per cent to $50.8 million as the Paragon and Clementi malls drew higher rental income.

But the July 2013 spin-off of SPH Reit also led to higher minority interests, to $8.9 million for the first quarter from $1.1 million a year ago, which dragged the bottom line comparatively lower.

Exhibitions also gave a big boost to turnover, although that was largely due to new shows and certain shows being held on different dates during the comparative period. Revenue from other businesses, including radio and online classifieds, more than doubled to $21.8 million from $10.4 million.

Net asset value per share stood at $2.10 as at end-November, compared to $2.19 as at end-August.

SPH expects the near-term global and domestic economic outlook to remain "modest with persisting uncertainties", and sees print ad revenue tracking underlying economic and market trends.

The development of Seletar Mall, which could eventually be sold to SPH Reit, is expected to be completed on schedule at the end of this year.

SPH shares closed at $4 yesterday, down 0.7 per cent or three cents, before the results were announced.

Revenue from other businesses, including radio and online classifieds, more than doubled to $21.8m from $10.4m.