PETALING JAYA: Berjaya Media Bhd
, the publisher of theSun newspaper, recorded a wider net loss of RM7.96mil in the third quarter of financial year of 2019 (3Q19), due to lower revenue and a RM5.91mil compensation that is expected to be paid for legal suits.
The Practice Note 17 (PN17) company, which is majority-owned by tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, saw its net loss in the third quarter rising from a net loss of RM2.45mil a year earlier.
Berjaya Media incurred higher operating expenses in the quarter after the company made a provision for legal damages amounting to RM5.91mil, “on the ground of prudence”.
For context, on Jan 31, the High Court ordered the company’s subsidiary, Sun Media Corp Sdn Bhd, to pay the legal damages to Asia Pacific Higher Learning Sdn Bhd and an individual named Wan Mazlan bin Mohamed Woojdy. SunMedia had filed for a stay of execution and an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Berjaya Media’s revenue in 3Q19 dropped by 16.36% year-on-year to RM6.94mil, mainly attributed to lower advertising income reported by SunMedia, as advertisers have shifted their advertising preference to digital platform.
The company did not declare any dividend in the quarter. Loss per share was 3.39 sen.
Cumulatively, for the first nine months of financial year 2019, Berjaya Media’s net loss more than doubled to RM13.28mil as compared to a net loss of RM6.47mil a year earlier.
The wider net loss in 3Q19 was the main drag on the nine-month period’s bottom line. The company’s revenue over the period fell by 22.14% to RM20.84mil.
“The directors are of the view that the group’s business for the remaining financial period will remain challenging as the advertising industry has shifted their preference to digital platform, which will certainly impact the print media industry.
“The board has been exploring other options (including diversifying into new businesses outside the media sector) to strengthen the financial position of the group with the primary objective of regularising its PN17 condition,” said the company.