Star Media Group to ramp up digital segment

CIMB Research:

PETALING JAYA: Star Media Group Bhd will continue its transformation exercise to further expand its digital plans, its chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said.

He also said the company will continue to cut cost and improve operating margins as part of the strategy to grow shareholder’s value.

“The digital plan will revolve around our Star Online news portal. We have consistently worked on enhancing content for Star Online and going forward, we will work towards improving revenue,” Fu said after the company's AGM on Tuesday.

“At the same time, we are also continuously cutting fixed costs. It has been ongoing in the last two years and the company has taken several measures.”

Star Online is the most followed news portal affecting 11 million unique visitors and over 106 million page views during the general election period. On May 10 alone, The Star Online garnered 2.2 million unique visitors, with 14.4 million page views.

The previous record was set in March last year, where the website registered more than 7.5 million unique visitors and over 62 million page views.

StarBiz Online is the most followed online business news portal, attracting 1.4 million unique visitors with five million page views.

Separately, he said there will be no internal changes to the company’s business operations following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the recent general election.

“This is a public listed company. With regards to internal changes, the shareholders do not interfere,” he said.

The MCA is the controlling shareholder in Star Media Group with 42.46%.

Meanwhile, Star Media group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said the company is continuously looking for new investment opportunities in both the media and non-media segments.

“We are putting consumers at the centre of the transformation. Our new organisational structure will be built around this.”

He said the recently concluded general elections and upcoming FIFA World Cup next month would serve as catalysts for advertising expenditure growth in the media sector for this year.

Star Media Group recorded a net profit of RM87.44mil on a turnover of RM517.73mil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 (FY17).

The group registered a net profit of RM116.91mil on a turnover of RM630.43mil in the previous financial year.

The media group’s print and digital segment, which is its mainstay, registered a profit before tax of RM37.75mil excluding impairments and expenses undertaken for a manpower-rationalisation exercise under a mutual separation scheme/early retirement option.

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