SPH reports 4.7% slip in Q1 net profit

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) on Tuesday posted a 4.7 per cent drop in net profit to $97.5 million for the first quarter ended November 30, 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.

Group recurring earnings for the first quarter was up 4.2 per cent to $121 million. Investment income tumbled 90.3 per cent over the year to $600,000 due to unrealised foreign exchange losses on investments as a result of volatility in the financial markets.

Revenue for the group’s newspaper and magazine business fell 1.2 per cent to $262 million over the year.

Print advertising revenue dipped 1.2 per cent to $204 million, while circulation revenue inched down 1.8 per cent to $50.3 million.

Rental income for group was up 27.2 per cent to $46.9 million, with Clementi Mall recording rental income of $9 million in the quarter.

Newsprint costs rose 4.2 per cent, while staff costs were up 1.5 per cent.

Other operating expenses grew 16.1 per cent due to the start of Clementi Mall’s operations, and higher overheads from increased business activities and inflationary pressures.

‘The outlook for the global economy remains fraught with uncertainties,’ said Alan Chan, chief executive officer of SPH.

‘The group will strive for a sustained performance in the core newspaper business whilst pursing growth in business adjacencies.’

Shares of SPH closed three cents higher at $3.70 a piece.

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