- Turnover: HK$697.6 million (2003: HK$613.6 million; up by 14%)
- Operating profit: HK$136.5 million (2003: HK$60.4 million; up by 126%)
- Profit attributable to shareholders: HK$111.4 million (2003: HK$34 million; up by 228%)
- Earnings per share: HK 7.14 cents (2003: HK 2.18 cents; up by 228%)
- Interim dividend distribution per share: HK 5 cents (2003: HK 2 cents; up by 150%)
Hong Kong, September 6, 2004 – SCMP Group Limited (SEHK: 583) ("the Group") today announced its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2004.
The operating results of the Group improved significantly compared with performance during the same period in 2003 when a weak economy and the outbreak of Sars adversely affected Hong Kong and the business of the Group. Turnover was $697.6 million, a 14% increase over the same period last year. Profit attributable to shareholders amounted to HK$111.4 million or HK$7.14 cents per share, 228% higher compared with the same period last year.
The Board declared an interim dividend distribution of HK 5 cents per share.
Operating costs and expenses rose slightly by 4% because of higher newsprint prices, advertising and promotion, and depreciation charges. Newsprint cost and usage increased by 7% and 23%, respectively. The Group spent more on advertising and promotions to drive circulation and to launch a new magazine in Hong Kong.
The publishing business recovered strongly led by the growth in advertising spending. Newspaper publishing revenue grew 32% while magazine publishing revenue grew 39%. In comparison, total ad spending across all media in Hong Kong grew 22% over the same period. The publishing business contributed 67% of total revenue and 93% of the operating profit of the Group.
The Hong Kong economy is expected to continue to grow, creating a favourable operating environment for the business of the Group. A recovery in consumer spending and stable unemployment rates will support further improvements in advertising income.
About SCMP Group Limited
SCMP Group Limited is the holding company of South China Morning Post Publishers Limited, publisher of Hong Kong’s leading English language newspapers South China Morning Post and Sunday Morning Post, and other publishing subsidiaries. The Group’s core business is newspaper and magazine publishing. It also holds interests in retailing and other businesses and investments. The Group’s shares are listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
For media enquiry, please contact:
Marketing and Communications
SCMP Group Limited
Tel: (852) 2565 2415
Fax: (852) 2565 2429