Media Prima’s net loss widens in 4Q19 on staff rationalisation provision

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By www.mediaprima.com.my

MEDIA Prima Bhd has recorded a net loss of RM104.5 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019 (4Q19), due to its provision for staff retrenchment, the single-biggest exercise embarked by the media giant.

The media group posted a net profit of RM79.2 million in 4Q18.

Losses for the quarter were incurred by exceptional items, including a one-off gain from a sale and leaseback arrangement in 2018.

The company’s revenue for the quarter improved by 5% year-to- year (YoY) to RM304.63 million versus RM290.9 million in 4Q18 due to a rise in circulation and commerce revenues, its exchange filing yesterday noted.

For the financial year, the company also posted a net loss of RM177.9 million or loss of 16 sen a share against a net profit of RM58.6 million or earnings per share of 5.29 sen in the financial year of 2018 (FY18).

Revenue for the year declined by 7% YoY to RM1.11 billion on lower traditional advertising and circulation revenue.

Media Prima group chairman Dr Syed Hussian Aljunid said the media group will focus on digital initiatives to drive the next phase of its business transformation efforts.

“As an integrated media group, we will continuously innovate to serve the evolving needs of our audiences and advertisers.

“This includes expanding its digital presence while executing new business opportunities that leverage its existing assets,” he said.

He added that the company remains focused on honing its competitive advantages, while keeping a close watch on operational efficiencies.

“I am confident we have the right assets and team to execute on the opportunities ahead of us,” he said.

The company’s traditional advertising and circulation revenues dropped by 11% and 12% YoY respectively.

Its digital and commerce segments registered a 4% revenue increase to RM320.2 million during the year, while its television network’s home shopping segment, CJ Wow Shop, recorded a 9% revenue increase to RM232.3 million and a 13% increase in the quantity of items sold.

Total customers increased by 13% during the year, whereby its digital asset, REV Asia Holdings Sdn Bhd, posted an 8% revenue increase to RM44.7 million, attributing the success to content marketing strategies.

The company noted that among its key achievements was the success of its intellectual property, Ejen Ali, an animated series which debuted on the silver screens and earned RM30.8 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing Malaysian film last year, as well as the highest grossing local animated film and third-highest grossing Malaysian film to date.

It was also screened in Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.

Meanwhile, the group announced it has also concluded its first phase of the transformation plan Odyssey, whereby the company undertook workable and sustainable options to restructure the group.

The first phase focused on revenue diversification across three key areas namely digital, commerce and beyond Malaysia, involving acquisitions and partnerships with global technology and media companies.

Media Prima group MD Datuk Kamal Khalid said the group’s significant investments in Odyssey has put the group on a stronger foundation to compete in today’s fast-evolving digitally-driven media environment.

The group believes the plan Odyssey has provided the important foundation for the future recovery as the initiatives contributed greater revenue to the group YoY.

In 2019, the plan’s revenue reached RM318 million, contributing to 29% of the group’s total revenue versus the RM176.4 million or 15% of total revenue achieved in 2017.