Utusan Melayu’s net loss narrows 34% due to lower costs

Utusan Malaysia is one of the Utusan group's key newspapers. Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd is the holding company.

KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd narrowed its net loss by 34% to RM10.7mil for the second quarter ended June 30 from RM16.3mil a year ago.

The media group said the lower losses were attributed to lower costs, which it said was reduced by RM9.6mil.

The group’s revenue for the period, however, fell 7.3% to RM53.8mil, mainly due to lower advertisement revenue.

The group had also recognised a gain on disposal of properties of RM3.7mil during last year’s corresponding quarter.

Its loss per share for the period narrowed to 9.64 sen from 14.68 sen a year ago. 

On a year-to-date basis, the group’s revenue declined to RM95.3mil, also due to lower revenue from the advertisement segment.

In its filing with the stock exchange, Utusan Melayu said the overall decline in revenue of 9.9% was cushioned by the lower operating costs, mainly attributed to a significant decrease in raw material costs.

Quarter-on-quarter, the group saw revenue increase by RM12.3mil to RM53.8mil due to the publishing, distribution and advertising segment.

On its outlook for the year, the group said it remained cautious, given the continuing challenges faced by print-based media companies.

“Whilst our core business remains in print media, we are actively seeking new businesses to support our core business activities. 

“The property and information technology sectors are the new business segments that we have identified and are currently exploring,” it said.

It added that the supply of computer tablets under an award by the Education Ministry had led to an increase in its subscriber base.

“After the successful delivery of the computer tablets to all teachers in the states of Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, we expect to do the same for teachers in other states before the end of this year,” it said.

The group added that the development of its property in Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur, through a joint venture with a third party, was expected to be completed this month. 

It said this would boost the group’s asset value.
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