Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported its full year results for the year ended 31 August 2013 (FY 2013) recently. This report covered the period from 1 September 2012 to end 31 August 2013.
SPH continued to under-perform this financial year worse than FY2012. Profit attributable to shareholders declined 25% to $430.9 million.
(Note: The group changed its accounting policy for investment properties from cost to fair value model. This change was applied retrospectively and accordingly the comparative financial statements were re-stated.)
Operating revenue declined 2.6% to $1,239 million (FY2012: improved 1.8% to $1,272 million).
Return on Equity (ROE) dropped 3.4 percentage points to 12.2% (FY2012: 15.6%). Earnings per share declined 9.0 cents to 27.0 cents (FY2012: 36.0 cents).
Total dividend went up by 16 cents to 40 cents (FY2012: 24.0 cents). This translates into 96.2% dividend payout ratio computed against recurring earnings (FY2012: 90.2%). This dividend includes 15 cents proposed final dividend and 25 cents interim and special dividend already paid out. Out of 15 cents proposed final dividend, normal dividend is 8 cents and special dividend is 7 cents. All in, total special dividend for the year is 25 cents. 18 cents special dividend already paid out was the result of SPH setting up SPH Reit in the year.
In terms of dividend payout, SPH was undoubtedly rewarding shareholders with generous dividend payments.
Net Asset Value as at 31 August 2013 was $2.19 (FY 2012: $2.28).
Looking at core businesses of SPH, revenue from Newspaper & Magazine segment dipped 3.9 per cent from previous year, revenue from print advertisement dropped 4.0 per cent. Revenue from property segment rose 3.5 per cent helping to offset the weak performances in its main businesses.
SPH has three properties, namely Paragon, Clementi Mall and Seletar Mall. Seletar Mall is a joint venture with United Engineers (SPH 70%, UE 30%) and expected date of completion is end of 2013. In July 2013, SPH created SPH Reit to take over Clementi Mall and Paragon. As a result of this, a special dividend of 18 cents was distributed to shareholders.
The net profit was weighed down by several reasons:
a. 13.9% decline in operating profit
b. 43.9% decline in fair value gain on investment properties
c. 57.1% decline in net income from investments due to challenging financial markets.
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