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SPH in talks to potentially acquire overseas property assets

Singapore

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) is in continuing discussions with various parties to potentially acquire cash-yielding, real estate assets overseas, the media group said in response to media speculation.

In the filing to the Singapore Exchange on Thursday, it went on to highlight that the negotiations may or may not materialise in any transaction or any definitive agreement.

SPH added: "If and when there are any material developments which warrant disclosure, the company will, in compliance with applicable rules, make further announcements as appropriate." It said it would not be commenting further in the meantime.

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SPH - which owns newspapers such as The Business Times - recently reported a 64.3 per cent year-on-year rise in third quarter net profit to S$47.44 million on the back of lower impairment charges, while operating revenue declined 3.8 per cent to S$250.07 million.

Earnings per share for the quarter edged up to three Singapore cents, from two Singapore cents a year ago.

For the nine-month period, net profit rose 15.6 per cent year-on-year to S$148.07 million, despite a 4.3 per cent fall in operating revenue to S$742.53 million.

The media group highlighted in its financial results that even as it sees early signs of a slower decline in its media revenue, it continues to sharpen its media capabilities amid digital disruption. At the same time, it is seeking to diversify with new growth thrusts, by acquiring real estate assets overseas and preparing its aged care business for overseas expansion.

Since the release of its results on July 11, its share price has been on an upward trend, rising from S$2.75.

Shares in SPH closed at S$2.89 on Thursday, up one cent. The announcement was made after the market closed.