Star gets new chairman, posts RM21mil Q1 pre-tax profit


  • Business
  • Thursday, 22 May 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Star Publications (M) Bhd has announced the appointment of Datuk Fu Ah Kiow as its new chairman.

Fu, who was appointed independent non-executive director in February, was a deputy minister in several ministries prior to his retirement from politics in 2008.

He replaced Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, who announced his retirement, at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday. The appointment of Fu was made following a board of directors meeting after its AGM.

Datuk Seri Kuan Peng Soon has been appointed deputy chairman. He was made non-independent non-executive director in February. Kuan is also executive chairman of Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd.

Meanwhile, Star Publications announced a profit before taxation of RM21.65mil and profit after taxation of RM15.46mil for its first quarter (Q1) results of 2014.

The group’s revenue dropped 4.3% to RM211.14mil from RM220.62mil in the same quarter of 2013 due to lower advertising revenue.

The uncertainties in the economy in the first two months, the MH 370 incident in March and seasonal factors also affected overall revenue.

Group profit before tax and profit after tax fell by 38.1% and 32.3% respectively against the corresponding quarter of 2013.

The decline in profits of the print and digital segment was mainly attributed to the RM9.58mil paid out for expenses related to a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) but is expected to save the company an estimated RM5mil per annum in future.

According to its Q1 2014 results, if the VSS amount was excluded, the group’s profit before tax contracted by only 10.7% despite the challenging environment.

On a positive note, Star’s other segments in radio broadcasting, the television channel and the event, exhibition, interior and thematic reported an increase in revenue.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said he expected better performances in April and May.

He said advertisement bookings, which were postponed or cancelled following the MH 370 incident, were captured in these two months.

Wong said the group also hoped to benefit from the upcoming World Cup in July although this event was principally television driven. He also believed that the Hari Raya festive season would benefit its radio and print segment.

In the events and exhibition business segment, Cityneon will continue to seek out more opportunities in China and South-East Asia, especially for thematic and interior design business while Perfect Livin’ will continue to enhance its financial performance by organising more events in 2014 and strengthen its market position.

The group also announced that it would continue to improve its cost efficiency measures as well as increase its revenue streams.

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