SPH – Press Release
SINGAPORE, 12 October 2007 – Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) today reported its full year results for year ended 31 August 2007. Net profit was up 18.1% to $506.2 million compared to previous year’s $428.5 million which included an exceptional gain of $66.8 million. Operating profit* rose by 20.2% to $434.2 million. This included the maiden profit of $47.8 million from sale of the Sky@eleven condominium recognised on a percentage-of-completion basis.
The Group’s operating revenue climbed 13.6% to $1.16 billion. Newspaper and Magazine operations increased 5.8% to $959.4 million on the back of a strong 7.2% growth in print advertisement revenue to $725.1 million. Revenue from Property operations surged 80.2% to $177.8 million with the inclusion of $71.3 million from Sky@eleven and an increase of $7.8 million from Paragon’s rental income growth.
Total operating expenses increased by 10.1% to $738.3 million. Property development costs of Sky@eleven accounted for $23.5 million while staff costs were higher by 12.5% or $33.6 million 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 August 2007 was 3,735 compared to 3,585 a year ago because of the acquisition of new subsidiaries and staffing for new media businesses.
Group investment income was up 79.0% to $146.2 million. This comprised mainly net profit on sale of investments and profits from capital reduction exercises by Starhub Limited and MobileOne Limited.
Commenting on the outlook for FY 2008, Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH said: “Outlook for the Group’s print advertisement revenue is positive given the generally healthy economic environment. Property segment will be boosted by profits recognised for Sky@eleven over the life of the project. The Group remains committed to sustaining the core newspaper business’ margin and will continue to invest in new media platforms as part of its growth strategy. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Directors expect the recurring earnings for the current financial year to be satisfactory.”
The Directors of SPH have proposed a Final Dividend of 19 cents per share, comprising a Normal Dividend of 9 cents per share and a Special Dividend of 10 cents per share in respect of the financial year ended 31 August 2007. These dividends are on tax-exempt (one-tier) basis and will be paid on 27 December 2007. Together with the Interim Dividend paid during the year, total Dividend payout for FY 2007 will be 26 cents.