SPH results reveal the media business accounts for only one-third of its profit

In its latest results announcement, SPH’s real estate business was credited with generating two-thirds of the profit for the group at S$79.7 million, the bulk of SPH’s profit before tax which stood at S$121.3 million

The revenue for the media side of the business declined by 10.1% to S$296.2 million for the first half of financial year 2019, compared to the first half of financial year 2018.

The decline was sharpest in print ads which fell by 12.3%. Circulation declined by 9.7%. Digital ads grew by 15%.

On the other hand, real estate grew by 15.3% and currently accounts for S$140.3 million in revenue.

SPH’s revenue from other sources including its aged care facilities and digital initiatives such as telecom provider M1 and jobs portal FastJobs was at S$41.2 million registering a 0.2% decline. The acquisition of M1 along with the Keppel cooperation was seen as a step to tap into the telecom service’s 2.2 million strong customer base.

Attempts to bolster the popularity of the digital media offering by SPH included launching a package which bundled a Samsung tablet with preloaded e-paper versions of Chinese news publications. SPH says it garnered over 2,000 subscriptions within two weeks of launch.

SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung said: “We continue to make progress with our digital transformation strategy. Although the media business continues to experience headwinds, revenue from the digital side of the business is showing growth.

“We also see improved recurring income from the Property segment which has expanded its portfolio following recent acquisitions.”

Ng added: “With the completion of the M1 transaction in March 2019, we look forward to the next step of being part of M1’s transformational journey. We will be closely collaborating with Keppel Corporation and M1 to leverage on the synergies among us.”


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