Profits Fall At Singapore Press Holdings

SPHSingapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39), or SPH, saw its total operating revenue for the year fall 2.6% to S$1.24 b. The net profit plunged by a quarter to S$431m.

The total operating revenue was made up of three parts – Revenue from Newspaper & Magazine, Revenue from Property and Revenue from Others. Revenue from Newspapers & Magazines slipped 3.9% to S$991 million. This was due to declines in advertisement and circulation.

Property did better. Revenues went up 3.5% to S$198m due to “higher rental rates achieved by Paragon, while income from The Clementi Mall remained stable.” The two malls were injected into SPH REIT (SGX: SK6U), with SPH retaining a 70% stake. Revenue from others was flat at $50m.

SPH had cash and cash equivalents of S$465m and it is carrying a total debt of S$1.7b. In terms of cash flow, S$234m of net cash was used in operations compared to a generation of S$71m last year.

The company has proposed a final dividend of 15 cents per share, which comprises a normal dividend of 8 cents per share and a special dividend of 7 cents per share.

Together with the interim dividend of 7 cents per share and special dividend of 18 cents in relation to the listing of SPH REIT, the total dividend payout for the year is 40 cents per share, which would make it a record. The dividend yield for the year translates to 3.9%, excluding the special dividends.

Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH, commented: “Amidst a challenging environment of evolving media consumption behaviour, the Group is reviewing new growth opportunities whilst exploring ways to reinvigorate its core media business.”

He added: “To grow our media business, I am pleased to add that we will be establishing a $100 million New Media Fund to invest in media-related businesses. These investments will play a critical role to support our aspiration to be the leading multi-media company in Asia. “

The shares closed at $4.12 on Friday, which values the company at 15 times historic earnings.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice.  Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.