SINGAPORE (July 14): Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) posts earnings of $28.9 million for the third quarter ended May, falling 45.2% from earnings of $52.7 million a year ago.
This was partially due to a $9.4 million increase in impairment charges to $37.8 million on goodwill and intangibles, primarily related to the magazine business. The group recognised impairment charges of $28.4 million a year ago.
In a filing to SGX on Friday, SPH says its magazine business’ performance has continued to deteriorate further amid unfavourable market conditions.
Operating revenue in 3Q fell 10.8% to $260.0 million, from $291.6 million a year ago.
The decline was led by a 15.7% drop in operating revenue from its media business, which fell to $182.5 million in 3Q, from $216.6 million a year ago.
This was partially mitigated by a 2.0% increase in operating revenue from its property business, which edged up to $61.6 million in the quarter. Revenue from the group’s other businesses also grew 8.2% to $15.9 million on the back of maiden contribution from the newly acquired healthcare business.
Investment income fell 37.4% to $11.7 million in 3Q, mainly attributable to a fall in dividend income and lower fair value gains on hedges for portfolio investments.
On a positive note, the group says it has completed the sale of 701Search on June 30, 2017, and expects to recognise a profit of approximately $150 million from the divestment in the next reporting period. 701Search operates an online classifieds business in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
Cash and cash equivalents stood at $233.8 million as at May 31, 2017.
Looking ahead, SPH says the operating environment is expected to remain challenging in view of the continuing disruption of the media industry.
“The Group will forge ahead with its drive to transform the core Media business,” says SPH CEO Alan Chan.
“We have pursued other growth opportunities to diversify revenue streams,” Chan adds. “To-date, we have made steady progress with the recent acquisition of Orange Valley Healthcare and our joint venture winning the tender to develop a mixed commercial and residential site at Bidadari.”
Shares of SPH closed 6 cents higher at $3.11 on Friday.