HONG KONG, 21 August 2014 –
SCMP Group Ltd (SEHK: 583) announced today the interim results for 2014. Interim revenue was $597.9 million, growing by 17% when compared with $509.1 million for the same period in 2013. Net profit for the first half of the year was $48.2 million, compared with $105.2 million in 2013, which included fair value gains on investment properties of $59.6 million. For the six months to 30 June 2014, the Group did not record any gain or loss on its investment properties. Net profit from normal operations grew 6% in the first half of 2014.
The Board of Directors resolved to declare the payment of an interim dividend payable of 2.20 cents per ordinary share.
The Group’s revenue increase is driven by both our core business and the growth thrust strategy implemented by Management to focus on high growth areas of diversification including outdoor media business, events and conferences business, education business and magazines, which includes new titles such as HK Magazine, Esquire and ELLE Men. Adjusted operating profit this period increased by 22% to $70.3 million, compared to $57.5 million for 2013.
The Newspaper division recorded an 11% increase in revenue or $406.1 million compared to $365.5 million from 2013. Net profit attributable to shareholders was $15.7 million in the first half of 2014, compared to $5.6 million in same period last year. Advertising and marketing solutions contributed an increase in revenue during the same comparative period, driven by an increase in IPO advertisements, and large-scale events and projects from the marketing solutions side. The recruitment and education business was stable, and while print recruitment advertisements in Classified Post faced a challenging environment due to an overall trend of jobs moving online, the decline in print revenue was compensated by an increase in online recruitment ads, and incremental revenue from Education Post. Adjusted EBITDA during this period was $36.1 million, growing 54% against the same period last year of $23.5 million.
Circulation of the South China Morning Post and Sunday Morning Post saw a slight decline, but this was offset by our growth in digital subscriptions revenue. Compared to 2013, the first half of 2014 saw total circulation revenue increase through digital subscription growth and other growth thrust strategies.
The Magazines division had a strong first half in 2014, with total revenue increasing 27% to $158.1 million, and net profit attributable to shareholders increasing by 7% to $26.1 million. The growth in profit was mainly driven by print and online advertising revenue from Cosmopolitan and ELLE. During this period, the addition of Esquire and The PEAK helped to strengthen the business’ market leader position. Adjusted EBIDTA during the first half increase 14% to $50.8 million compared to $44.5 million during the same period in 2013.
SCMP Group CEO Mr. Robin Hu noted, “Entering the second half, we hold a cautious forward-looking view as luxury spending remains restrained, and the overall retail market is less buoyant than last year. By systematically investing in organic and inorganic growth thrusts in the past two years, the Group has been able to withstand economic uncertainty while broadening revenue streams.”
“Consistent with our practice, we will continue to actively manage costs while casting an eye on continued growth and development on strategic opportunities in the traditional and new media space to complement our assets, and to maintain our continued growth path”.
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About SCMP Group Ltd and South China Morning Post
SCMP Group Limited (SEHK: 583) is a leading newspaper and magazine publisher in Asia. Its flagship publication, South China Morning Post, is Hong Kong’s internationally recognised English language newspaper and has the city’s most affluent and influential readership.
First published in 1903, the newspaper has developed an enviable reputation for authoritative, influential and independent reporting on Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. Available in print, mobile, tablets and online through scmp.com and e-reader editions, South China Morning Post reaches a global audience with daily breaking news, analysis and opinion, multimedia articles and interactive forums. The South China Morning Post received over 160 awards in 2013-14 for excellence in editorial, marketing and technical capability. Other titles in the Group include the Sunday Morning Post, Nanzao.com (南早.com), Nanzaozhinan.com (南早香港指南.com), STYLE, Destination Macau, The PEAK, HK Magazine, The List, Where Hong Kong, and Where Chinese玩儿.
Through the joint venture partnership with Hearst, SCMP Hearst publishes the Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, CosmoGirl!, CosmoBride, Harper’s BAZAAR, Harper’s BAZAAR Art, Harper’s BAZAAR Bride, Esquire, ELLE, ELLE Men, ELLE Wedding, ELLE Décoration, and ELLE Accessories; and operates ELLE.com.hk, Cosmopolitan.com.hk, Harpersbazaar.com.hk, Cosmogirl.com.hk and EsquireHK.com in Hong Kong.
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