- Turnover: HK$536.5 million
- Recurring operating profit: HK$138.7 million
- Operating profit: HK$141.3 million
- Net profit: HK$112.3 million
- Earnings per share: HK$0.072
- Dividend: HK$0.05
(Hong Kong, September 13, 2005) – SCMP Group Limited (SEHK: 583) ("the Group") announced today its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2005.
Profit attributable to shareholders was $112.3 million or $0.072 per share on turnover of $536.5 million. Earnings growth in the Newspaper and Magazine Divisions was offset by reduced contributions from other businesses.
Operating costs and expenses increased 9% because of higher newsprint expense, advertising and promotion spending, and staff cost. Production costs rose 20% mainly due to a 21% increase in average newsprint cost from US$452 to US$545 per metric ton. Newsprint consumption increased by 3% as a result of higher advertising volume, which was partly offset by production efficiencies.
The Board of Directors declared an interim dividend of HK$0.05 per share.
The Newspaper Division reported a profit of $108.5 million in the first half compared with $95.8 in the same period last year. Revenues grew 9% on satisfactory growth in ad revenues. Circulation of the South China Morning Post and Sunday Morning Post grew 3% to 103,000 and 80,900, respectively based on unaudited figures for the first half of 2005. Display and recruitment ad revenues increased 13% and 14%, respectively. Results announcements accounted for 4% of total newspaper revenue and 5% of total ad revenue in the first half of 2005.
Capital expenditures were $56.9 million, of which $49.9 million was invested in new printing presses. The new presses will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2005. The total cost of the new presses is $94.5 million.
The second half is likely to see a pick-up in advertising demand driven by continued consumer spending and low unemployment levels. The Group is well-placed to benefit from this favourable business environment.
About SCMP Group LimitedSCMP Group Limited is the holding company of South China Morning Post Publishers Limited and other subsidiaries engaged mainly in newspaper and magazine publishing. South China Morning Post, its flagship publication, is the leading English language newspaper in Hong Kong with a circulation of 103,000 and the most affluent and influential readership. SCMP Group also publishes Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, CosmoGirl! and Maxim for the Hong Kong market.
This press release can be downloaded from www.scmpgroup.com.
For media enquiry, please contact:
Marketing and Communications
SCMP Group Limited
Tel: (852) 2565 2415
Fax: (852) 2565 2429