Singapore Press shares slide to 30-year low on 1st-ever loss

SINGAPORE • Shares of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd slumped to their lowest level since October 1990 after the company reported its first full-year loss on record.

The stock declined as much as 5.7% as the firm posted a net loss of S$83.7 million (RM255.9 million) for the year ended Aug 31. It’s the company’s first full-year loss, based on data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1990, and follows net income of US$213 million (RM883.95 million) in the previous period. The pandemic “severely disrupted” all business segments, eroding the value of investment properties, as well as advertising sales in its media business, Singapore Press said in a statement.

“We expect media to continue to be a drag in the immediate term given the weak advertising expenditure outlook, with the property segment driving earnings growth and margins,” DBS Bank Ltd analysts wrote in a note, lowering the target price on the stock to S$1.09.

The newspaper-to-real-estate firm said in August it has reduced 140 people, or 5% of staff from its media business as the Covid-19 pandemic eroded advertising sales. The stock is down more than 50% year-to-date versus a loss of 21% in Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index. — Bloomberg