SINGAPORE (Jan 12): Singapore Press Holdings reported 1Q18 earnings increased 32.1% to $60.4 million compared to $45.7 million in 1Q17.

The group’s total operating revenue for the first quarter ended November came in 7% lower at $258.8 million compared to $278.3 million a year ago.

Revenue from its media segment dropped 13.9% to $173.9 million from $201.9 million in 1Q17, but still remained the major contributor to its total revenue. The decline in revenue was due to a drop in advertisement and circulation revenue.

Revenue from the group’s property segment was 1.2% higher at $61.2 million from $60.5 million last year, on the back of higher rental income from the retail assets.

The group’s revenue from other segments increased by 48.2% to $23.6 million compared to $15.9 million in the same period last year, with contributions from the aged care business.

Other operating income increased about 139% to $8.55 million from $3.58 million last year, due to the dilution of interest on an associate’s IPO listing.

Gross profit for the quarter came in at $267.3 million, 5.2% lower than $281.9 million a year ago.

Finance costs increased by 16.6% to $8.81 million from $7.55 million in the previous year.

In 1Q18, the group made a gain of $12.4 million from its net income from investments, compared to a loss of $1.8 million recorded in 1Q17, mainly attributed to gains on disposal of investments and dividend income.

It also made a gain of $227,000 from the share of results of associates and joint ventures, compared to a loss of $1.07 million the same period a year ago, attributable to profits from an associate in the property segment.

Ng Yat Chung, CEO of SPH says, “We will roll out new products to deal with the disruption in the core media business. At the same time, we will continue to pursue other growth opportunities to diversify revenue streams.”

Shares in SPH closed 2 cents lower at $2.63 on Friday.