No More Iron Rice Bowl At SPH

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has restructured its operations. According to a Straits Times article, the company said a total of 300 jobs were removed and 70 new ones were added, mostly in the digital arena, with the result of a net reduction to 230 jobs removed.

However only 10 of its staff were eventually retrenched said the article. Marketing contacted SPH for a comment, but a spokesperson said that there would be no further comment beyond the article published.

SPH CEO Alan Chan was quoted saying that the company reviewed each staff member on an individual basis and did not take a “blunt, across the board approach”.

“But hard decisions had to be taken,” added Chan.

He added in a staff memo that with its core print business still facing “headwinds”, the company “must succeed in its transition into the digital space”. Chan also added that the company has created a new organizational structure that “is better aligned with its business aspirations”.

In the recent months, SPH has also been bolstering its digital offerings, making investments into several companies. A little less than a year ago, it acquired popular online classified site for cars for SG$60 million. The deal came shortly after it snapping up Chope, a local restaurant booking site earlier this year for SG$1.8 million. Meanwhile, recently it acquired digital magazine store Magzter and Malaysia’s Facon Education fair.

Earlier in January, SPH reported its results for its first quarter where group recurring earnings rose by SG$2.5 million (2.2%) to SG$116.9 million, as compared to 2013. This was due to the exhibitions, radio and online classifieds businesses.

However, revenue for the group’s newspaper and magazine business of SG$255.9 million fell by SG$7.6 million (2.9%) lower compared to first quarter of 2013, as advertisement and circulation revenue declined by SG$5.8 million (2.8%) and SG$2.3 million (4.7%) respectively.

Last October, SPH identified several cost saving means and said that it expected to save about SG$19 million a year.

The media house is currently looking to recruit a CEO for a new SG$100 million new media fund as well.

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