Higher profit for Star Media Group

PETALING JAYA: Improved operations and continued cost-management measures saw Star Media Group Bhd ’s profit before tax come in higher by 173% to RM17.59mil for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 (1Q18).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the media group said on Wednesday it also saw lower depreciation expenses from its print segment as a result of impairment of printing assets and a manpower-rationalisation exercise comprising a mutual separation scheme/early retirement option that was carried out in financial year 2017. 

This enabled it to register higher profitability despite a drop in revenue to RM109.03mil in 1Q18 from RM118.61mil in the same quarter a year ago. 

The print and digital segment, which is its mainstay, recorded a higher profit before tax of RM20.67mil in 1Q18 as compared to RM8.09mil in the previous corresponding quarter despite a 10.7% decline in revenue. This is mainly due to lower salaries and depreciation expenses from the print segment. 

As for the radio broadcasting segment, profit before tax improved to RM1.56mil in 1Q18 versus the RM1.07mil made in 1Q17.  

Revenue for the segment, however, declined 3.6% in the current quarter as advertisers remained cautious in their spending due to poor consumer and business sentiments.

Meanwhile, its event and exhibition segment reversed its losses to record a profit before tax of RM2.74mil in the current quarter. 

On its prospects, the leading English media group said it had embarked on efficiency and productivity improvement plans which would involve transformation and rationalisation activities within the organisation. 

“This transformation would encompass our drive towards digitalisation by making the organisation leaner and more agile and better prepared to take advantages of the opportunities in the media space,” it said. 

While Bank Negara has projected a gross domestic product growth of 5.5% to 6% for 2018, advertising expenditure in 2018 is expected to remain challenging due to weak market sentiment.

Nevertheless, it said the media-related segments of the group would continue to enhance its respective media platforms to extend their reach to a wider audience. It will also continue to provide more bundled products and creative buys to advertisers as well as organise more client-driven events. 

The media group said it was also expanding aggressively into the digital space and towards this end, was actively searching for new investment opportunities in the digital sector to complement and enhance its existing assets.

“The fast-evolving media landscape into all things digital and the ever-changing consumer preferences make it a priority for Star to maintain its engagement with its audiences via the latest technologies,” it said.

It will also continue to drive more subscriptions on dimsum with the best Asian content, including exclusive, premier and simulcast content from China, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. 

dimsum is currently available in Malaysia and Brunei, and was recently launched in Singapore via StarHub.

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