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Singapore Press Holdings Plans Over 200 Job Cuts despite 32 Percent Profit Rise

October 12, 2017

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) said it plans to accelerate its previously announced plans for job reduction, despite its last report indicating 32 percent rise in full-year net profit. The media company said on Wednesday (Oct 11) that it would complete the full 10 percent staff reduction which was announced last October by the end of 2017, sooner than the previously announced two-year period.

According to SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung, between now and the end of the year, there will be some 230 job cuts. With 130 of the amount will be done through retrenchments, the rest will be implemented through other measures including retirements as well as contract terminations. Mr Ang also added that from the total of 230 jobs, about 200 are from the group’s core media business, Channel News Asia reports.

“The Group will complete the full 10 per cent staff reduction announced last October by the end of this calendar year, and is expected to incur retrenchment costs of approximately S$13 million in the current quarter. It includes restructuring the newsrooms and sales operations, reducing 15 per cent of staff in these core media divisions,” said Mr Ng.

See: Basic Digital Skills Training to Prepare Singaporeans for Digital Workplace

Recently, SPH reported its full-year profit showing a bottom line rise up to S$350.1 million for the year ended Aug 31, indicating an upsurge of 32 percent compared to the previous financial year. The growth is also contributed by a gain of S$149.7 million from the sale of its online classifieds business. A S$57.4 million fair-value gain from investment properties has also boosted the overall results.

However, these gains were partially deducted by charges of as much as S$96 million, which included impairment of the magazine business amid unfavourable market conditions, write-down of printing presses due to consolidation of printing capacity, and write-down of investments in associates to realisable value.

Meanwhile, operating revenue shrank by 8.2 per cent, or S$91.8 million, to $1,032.5 million, pulled down mainly by a 13 per cent year-on-year fall in revenue from its media business which continued to be impacted by disruption to the media industry.

Additionally, if compared to the previous financial year, this year SPH’s advertising revenue was down 16.9 per cent, or S$102.5 million, while circulation revenue declined by 5.1 per cent, or S$8.7 million.

Among other segments, property revenue rose S$2.8 million, or 1.2 per cent, shore up by higher rental income from its retail assets. Revenue from other businesses also grew by S$14.1 million, or 28.9 per cent, from the year before on the back of income from a newly acquired healthcare business.

Regarding to this matter, Mr Ng added that SPH will step up its focus of investments to enhance capabilities in digital, data analytics, radio broadcasts, video and content marketing, as an effort to deal with disruption to its core media business.

“These will enable us to seek new growth and better meet the changing needs of our readers, subscribers and clients,” Mr Ng said in a press release.

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