SINGAPORE, 11 July 2007 – Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) today reported its results for the third quarter ended 31 May 2007. The Group registered a 15.2% increase in operating profit* of $14.3 million to $108.8 million. Profit before exceptional items was up 48.3% to $186.1 million. Net profit was $159.8 million compared to previous year´s $174.6 million which included an exceptional gain of $69.1 million.
The Group´s operating revenue rose 8.4% to $288.1 million. Newspaper and Magazine operations increased 7.8% to $255.7 million on the back of strong growth in print advertisement revenue which saw a surge of 10.4% to $195.6 million. Property operations posted a 6.6% revenue increase to $26.0 million.
Total operating expenses increased by 5.0% to $182.2 million. This was due mainly to staff costs which were 12.0% higher as a result of variable bonus provision, increased headcount and annual salary increment. Variable bonus provision was in line with the Group´s higher operating profits and the Group´s new performance-based incentive scheme. Total headcount in May 2007 was 3,684 compared to 3,583 a year ago because of the acquisition of new subsidiaries and staffing for new media businesses.
Group investment income was up 139.1% to $75.3 million. This comprised mainly net profit on sale of investments and profit from a capital reduction exercise by MobileOne Limited.
For the nine months ended 31 May 2007, the Group registered a 6.9% increase in operating profit* of $19.5 million to $300.1 million. Profit before exceptional items was up 25.3% to $440.1 million. Net profit was $380.1 million compared to previous year´s $357.6 million which included an exceptional gain of $69.1 million.
Commenting on the outlook for the rest of the financial year, Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH said: “Print advertising looks promising as the economy is doing well. Paragon is generating healthy rental yields amidst strong sentiments in the property market. The Group is strengthening its presence on various new media platforms and extending its reach beyond the core newspaper business. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Directors expect the Group to perform better than last financial year.”
* Refers to recurring earnings or profit before investment income and exceptional items
Pls see attached announcement and fact sheets.