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SPH's Q1 net profit up 17% to S$81.3 million

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SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) posted a 17.3 per cent jump in net profit attributable to shareholders to S$81.3 million for the first quarter ended November 2015 from S$69.4 million a year ago.

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) posted a 17.3 per cent jump in net profit attributable to shareholders to S$81.3 million for the first quarter ended November 2015 from S$69.4 million a year ago.

Group operating revenue came in 3.5 per cent lower at $296.2 million with higher contribution from property and growth businesses cushioning the slide in the media business, said the firm in an announcement.

The media business saw revenue dip by 8.7 per cent from a year ago to S$223 million over the quarter primarily due to a 10.6 per cent decline in advertisement revenue which the firm attributed to "anaemic economic growth and a continuously evolving competitive landscape".

On the other hand, the property sector chalked up steady growth with a 16 per cent jump in revenue to S$59.7 million, lifted by contribution from The Seletar Mall which opened its doors in November 2014.

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Revenue from the group's other businesses was up 20.2 per cent to S$13.5 million, led by higher income from the exhibitions and online classifieds businesses.

SPH's continued emphasis on cost discipline and operating efficiency has borne fruit with total operating expenditure down 1.2 per cent to S$205.7 million in the quarter.

The group expects a difficult operating environment for the current financial year given the economic outlook and the "increasingly fragmented media landscape", said its chief executive, Alan Chan.

"To address the challenges ahead, the group will redouble its efforts to sustain the media business, including adjacent businesses, and continue to evaluate and pursue growth opportunities," he added.

Earnings per share for the period under review stood at five Singapore cents, up from four Singapore cents a year ago. No dividend was recommended.

SPH shares closed four Singapore cents or one per cent lower at S$3.67 on Tuesday's close.

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