Singapore Press Holdings has suffered a 2.9 per cent fall in operating revenue from its newspaper and magazine assets for the first quarter of the financial year.
The publisher of the Straits Times, Business Times and The New Paper saw advertising revenue fall by S$5.8m (US$4.6m) and circulation revenue slide by S$2.3m (US$1.8m) as staff costs rose by 2.5 per cent.
However, because of increased rental revenue from the group’s property assets, the company’s operating revenue grew by two per cent overall.
Advertising revenue fell by 2.9 per cent, with classified ad revenue falling faster than display.
The company pointed at a brighter future for newspaper circulation through new media channels, with the Straits Times’ digital edition lifting overall circulation above the figure for the previous year.
SPH also said that it was seeing “strong growth” in traffic from online classified businesses, such as mudah.my in Malaysia, ChoTot.vn in Vietnam and Berniaga.com in Indonesia.
The news comes after a series of embarrassing moments for SPH’s flagship title, the Straits Times, which reported as fact a post believed to be satire about the killing of the uncle North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by a pack of hungry dogs.