Singapore Press Holdings has announced a 16.9 percent decrease in advertising revenue across the business year-on-year, amounting to a significant SG$102.5 million (US$75.7 million).
The publisher released its financial earnings report yesterday, in which it said full-year net profit stood at SG$350.1 million (US$258.5 million), a 32 percent rise. However, revenue from SPH’s media business dropped 13 percent compared to 2016, a decrease of SG$108.8 million (US$80.3 million), which the company attributed to “disruption to the media industry”.
Partial divestment of SPH’s stake in the regional online classifieds business 701Search saw a gain of SG$149.7 million (US$110.5 million). In August SPH also sold its minority stakes in Mediacorp’s TV and newspaper businesses for SG$18 million (US$13.3 million).
Investment gains also amounted to SG$54.7 million (US$40.4 million). However these increases were offset by SG$96 million (US$70.9 million) in costs for “impairment of the magazine business amid unfavourable market conditions”.
Total operating costs fell by SG$33.6 million (US$24.8 million) or 4.1 percent year-on-year thanks to “continued emphasis on cost discipline and operating efficiency”.
“To deal with the disruption to our core media business, we will step up our investments to enhance our capabilities in digital, data analytics, radio broadcasts, video and content marketing,” said Ng Yat Chung, SPH CEO. “These will enable us to seek new growth and better meet the changing needs of our readers, subscribers and clients.”
SPH also said it is accelerating its plans to reduce headcount by 10 percent, announced last October. Chung said 230 staff would be cut by the end of the year, including a 15 percent cut of staff in the company’s core media divisions as it restructures its newsrooms and sales operations.