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SPH AsiaOne to focus on Online News, Careers and Database Services

Singapore, 9 November 2001 - SPH AsiaOne Ltd ("AsiaOne") has today restructured its businesses to focus on online news, careers and database services. It has also downsized its web publishing, e-shop and lifestyle content businesses. Following this review, AsiaOne has laid off 23 employees.

The retrenched staff would be paid compensation benefits according to their years of service. The one-time cost of retrenchment is about $340,000.

Including natural staff attrition, AsiaOne’s staff strength would be reduced from the current 111 to 79 employees. On an annualised basis, staff cost would be lowered by $1.8 million a year.

"It is important that AsiaOne focuses on areas that have growth potential and downsizes those businesses which are likely to incur more losses in view of the difficult business environment," said Mr Low Huan Ping, AsiaOne CEO. "We have decided to bite the bullet early. This decision taken is independent of the privatisation scheme which is progressing on schedule."

With cost containment measures in place, AsiaOne is expected to lower its cash burn in the current year. However, AsiaOne expects to continue to make a loss for the year.

Mr James Heng, Chief Operating Officer of AsiaOne, will be transferred to SPH to head a newly-formed department in SPH’s Marketing Division with effect from 12 November 2001.

Issued by SPH AsiaOne Ltd

For more information, please contact:

Mr Liew Kim Siong
Corporate Communications, SPH
Tel : 740 1216
Fax : 747 3835
Email :